South Korea’s lawmakers on Tuesday banned the breeding, slaughter and sale of canine for human consumption, a centuries-old observe that’s unpopular and uncommon in the present day.
Canine meat was widespread once more, and remained so within the many years after the Korean Conflict, when the nation was destitute and meat was scarce. It’s utilized in a widely known dish that the Koreans name ‘bosintang’, or ‘soup good in your physique’. However the observe was more and more shunned as incomes, pet possession and animal welfare issues steadily elevated within the late twentieth century.
Immediately, many South Koreans, particularly younger individuals, discover consuming canine meat disgusting. About 93 p.c of South Korean adults mentioned they didn’t plan to devour canine meat sooner or later, and 82 p.c mentioned they supported a ban, in keeping with a survey carried out final yr by Conscious, an animal welfare group in Seoul.
“That is historical past within the making that I by no means thought I might expertise in my lifetime,” Chae Jung-ah, director of Humane Society Worldwide Korea, mentioned in a press release launched by the group. She added: “Now we have reached a tipping level the place most Korean residents reject consuming canine.”
In passing the ban, South Korea joined a listing of different locations the place the canine meat commerce is banned, together with Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, the group mentioned. In keeping with 4 Paws, an animal welfare group in Austria, tens of millions of canine are nonetheless killed yearly for his or her meat in nations similar to Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
President Yoon Suk Yeol’s workplace is predicted to formally implement the ban. Mr Yoon and Kim Keon Hee, the primary woman, who personal quite a few canine and cats, have campaigned for the ban. The president succeeded after earlier administrations did not rally sufficient help to finish the observe.
Beneath the regulation, which was handed with broad help by the Nationwide Meeting, anybody who slaughters canine for human consumption might face a three-year jail sentence or a effective of 30 million South Korean gained, or about $23,000, after a grace interval of three yr. Breeding and promoting the animals might be punishable by two years in jail or a 20 million gained effective.
The regulation can even supply canine farmers and house owners of eating places that serve canine meat monetary incentives to alter jobs, with every of them required to submit a phase-out plan to the native authorities.
In 2022, about 520,000 canine had been raised for human consumption on 1,150 farms, and about 1,600 eating places bought canine meat nationwide — considerably fewer than lately, in keeping with lawmakers.
An affiliation of canine farmers protested within the months earlier than the invoice was handed, arguing that consuming canine meat was a matter of particular person alternative and demanding extra compensation for farmers who would lose their companies on account of a ban.
The regulation’s passage marked a milestone for animal rights activists who’ve campaigned for the ban for years. Since 2015, they’ve helped 18 canine farmers shut their operations or transition to vegetable farms. The farmers gave up their animals to be adopted as pets.