South Korea is actively moving towards putting an end to the longstanding tradition of consuming dog meat. The ruling People Power Party in the country has disclosed plans to implement a ban on the consumption of dog meat by the year’s end.
This decision comes in response to a shifting public sentiment, particularly among younger generations, and international criticism from animal rights organizations.
The proposed ban includes a three-year grace period, during which financial support will be provided to assist businesses in transitioning away from the dog meat trade. This signifies a notable change in Korean society’s perspective on animal welfare, aligning with the global movement against the consumption of dog meat.
The controversial practice of eating dogs in Korea has faced criticism globally due to its perceived cruelty, and opposition within the country has grown, especially among the younger demographic.
Yu Eui-dong, the policy chief of the ruling People Power Party, emphasized the need to resolve social conflicts and controversies surrounding dog meat consumption through the enactment of a special act.
First lady Kim Keon Hee, along with President Yoon Suk Yeol, has been outspoken against dog meat consumption and has personally adopted stray dogs.
Past attempts to pass anti-dog meat legislation faced challenges, with industry stakeholders protesting and concerns raised about the impact on the livelihoods of farmers and restaurant owners. While consuming dog meat has been a traditional practice on the Korean peninsula, it has become less prevalent in South Korea, persisting mainly among older individuals and in specific restaurants.
The prospect of a ban has been met with approval from animal rights groups, with Humane Society International expressing their excitement, calling it a “dream come true” for those advocating against the cruelty.
Government data indicates the presence of around 1,150 breeding farms, 34 slaughterhouses, 219 distribution companies, and approximately 1,600 restaurants serving dog meat. A Gallup Korea poll from the previous year revealed that 64% of respondents opposed dog meat consumption, and only 8% reported having consumed dog meat in the past year, a significant decrease from the 27% recorded in 2015.