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South Korea unanimously passes law to ban dog meat production and sale – Global News

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The South Korean government on Tuesday unanimously passed a new bill banning the sale and production of dog meat within the country.
The watershed ban will be enacted starting in 2027, allowing time for farmers and merchants to pivot or close their businesses.
People caught slaughtering, breeding and selling dog meat after the start of 2027 will face large penalties, including up to three years in prison or a fine of 30 million Korean won (about C$30,440).
The consumption of dog meat itself will not be illegal.
The legislation also forbids the launch of any new slaughterhouses, farms or restaurants that use dog meat.
Parliamentarians in South Korea voted 208-0 in favour of the dog meat ban.
The consumption of canine meat has been present in South Korea for several centuries and it is often considered a delicacy when served in stews like boshintang, which sees dog meat boiled alongside other vegetables and flavourings. The stew is often touted as having many health benefits, including boosting one’s immune system.
The practice of consuming dog meat has become considerably less popular in recent years, especially among young South Koreans who sympathize with national and international activists who have long since called for an end to the trade.
JungAh Chae, the executive director of Humane Society International/Korea, said the ban is “history in the making.”
“I never thought I would see in my lifetime a ban on the cruel dog meat industry in South Korea but this historic win for animals is testament to the passion and determination of our animal protection movement,” she said. “We reached a tipping point where most Korean citizens reject eating dogs and want to see this suffering consigned to the history books, and today our policymakers have acted decisively to make that a reality.
“While my heart breaks for all the millions of dogs for whom this change has come too late, I am overjoyed that South Korea can now close this miserable chapter in our history and embrace a dog-friendly future.”
Humane Society International reported that up to one million dogs are factory-farmed and killed for human consumption every year in South Korea.
“With over 6 million pet dogs now living in Korean homes, demand for dog meat is at an all-time low,” the organization wrote.
The group pointed to a 2023 Nielsen Korea opinion poll that found 86 per cent of South Koreans have “little to no intention of consuming dog meat in the future, regardless of their past consumption.” Over half of those surveyed supported a dog meat ban.
A 2018 Global News investigation into the sale of dog meat in South Korea found there were an estimated 17,000 dog meat farms in the country. Many dogs rescued from slaughterhouses and dog meat farms have since been given a second chance at life and have found loving homes in Canada.
But the new ban is not without its opponents; several dog meat farmers and restaurateurs serving up the controversial fare in South Korea have argued the trade would have eventually phased out when their customers, primarily older adults, died. Now, these farmers say they will have no choice but to give up their businesses.
Existing dog meat farmers in South Korea will be required to provide their local government with a closure plan for their facilities within the next six months. Potential governmental compensation is available for farmers, butchers and restaurateurs who will be forced to pivot their livelihoods.
In recent decades, regions where dog meat was historically sold, including Taiwan, the Philippines, the Indian state of Nagaland and individual cities across China, have also banned the sale of canine meat.
There is no law in Canada forbidding the consumption of dog meat, though the practice is relatively unheard of on home soil.
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