S. Korea to prohibit dog meat consumption from 2027

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : January 9, 2024, 17:26 Updated : January 10, 2024, 08:01

SEOUL -- South Korea's parliament has passed a bill to ban slaughtering and breeding dogs for consumption of dog meat. Starting in 2027, those found slaughtering a dog to use its meat can face punishment of up to three years in prison or a fine of up to 30 million won ($22,805).

South Korea's agriculture ministry estimated that there were about 520,000 dogs bred in dog meat farms as of February 2022. Although eating dogs has been a longstanding tradition in Korea, the consumption of dog meat, known as Boshintang (dog soup), is continuously decreasing. Animal rights activists have called for a complete halt to eating dog meat for decades because the canines are slaughtered in a cruel and unhygienic way. 

The National Assembly passed a bill on January 9 to prohibit breeding and slaughtering dogs for eating, as well as distribution or sale. Engaging in the breeding or distribution of dogs for consumption can result in a maximum penalty of two years in prison or a fine of up to 20 million won. The ban on dog meat consumption and the associated penalties will take effect three years after the bill is promulgated.

Individuals already involved in the dog meat business, such as slaughterhouse owners and restaurant operators, are required to report detailed information on their facilities and business to the local government. The government aims to support business operators in maintaining stable economic endeavors. 

Government data showed that about one out of four South Koreans raised a pet as of 2022. Dogs were the most popular pet type among South Koreans. When the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country in 2020, many remote-working single households spent more time at home with their pets. 
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