South Korea's parliament passes bill to ban dog meat trade

South Korea
# 09 January 2024 12:21 (UTC +04:00)

South Korea's parliament passed a bill on Tuesday to end the eating and selling of dog meat, a move that would outlaw the controversial centuries-old practice amid growing support for animal welfare, APA reports citing Reuters.

Activists say most dogs are electrocuted or hanged when slaughtered for meat, though breeders and traders argue there has been progress in making the slaughtering more humane.

Support for the ban has grown under President Yoon Suk Yeol, an animal lover who has adopted six dogs and eight cats with first lady Kim Keon Hee, also a vocal critic of dog meat consumption.

Proposed by the ruling party, the bill was passed by an overwhelming 208 votes with two abstentions in the single-chamber parliament after its bipartisan agriculture committee approved it on Monday.

The legislation will take effect after a three-year grace period. Breaking the law would be punishable by up to three years in prison or 30 million won ($22,800) in fines.

"The bill would see an end to the breeding and killing of dogs for human consumption," said Borami Seo of Humane Society International Korea, an animal protection group. "We have reached a pivotal point to spare millions of dogs from this cruel industry."

Eating dog meat was once seen as a way to improve stamina in the humid Korean summer. But it has become a rarity - now eaten mostly by some older people - as more Koreans consider dogs as family pets and as criticism of how the dogs are slaughtered has grown.

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