South Korea’s Parliament Passes Historic Ban on Dog Meat Production and Sales Amid Animal Rights Concerns

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Protest against Dog Meat

South Korea’s parliament has taken a historic step by passing a bill that bans the production and sale of dog meat, a move driven by growing concerns over animal rights and the nation’s global reputation. The bill, which passed with a 208-0 vote, comes amid a significant shift in public opinion regarding the consumption of dog meat, a centuries-old practice on the Korean Peninsula.

The legislation, which is set to take effect in 2027 after a three-year grace period, will make the slaughtering, breeding, and sales of dog meat for human consumption illegal. Violators of this law could face 2-3 years in prison. However, it’s important to note that the bill does not penalize the act of eating dog meat.

While dog meat consumption has neither been explicitly banned nor legalized in South Korea, it has traditionally been considered a source of stamina, particularly during the hot summer months. Recent surveys, however, indicate a changing attitude among South Koreans, with more than half supporting a ban and a majority no longer consuming dog meat. Despite this shift, about one-third of South Koreans remain opposed to the ban, even though they do not eat dog meat themselves.

The passing of this bill is expected to become law after formal endorsements from the Cabinet Council and President Yoon Suk Yeol, who is in favor of the ban. The legislation’s primary objective is to uphold the values of animal rights, emphasizing respect for life and promoting harmonious coexistence between humans and animals.

To aid those affected by this change, the bill includes provisions for assisting dog farmers and others in the industry. It proposes helping them shut down their operations and transition to alternative businesses, with details to be finalized through discussions involving government officials, farmers, experts, and animal rights activists.

The decision, however, has been met with resistance from some dog farmers who plan to challenge the bill’s constitutionality and hold protest rallies, indicating that the debate over this issue is far from over.

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