In a landmark decision, the South Korean government, in collaboration with the ruling People Power Party, has declared its intention to introduce a bill by the end of the year that will ban the dog meat trade. This pivotal resolution, reached during an important meeting in Seoul with various animal rights organizations, is set to gradually eliminate the industry by 2027.
“The time has come to resolve the social conflicts and debates surrounding dog meat consumption by passing a special law to prohibit it,” stated Yu Eui-dong, the policy chief of the People Power Party, during a discussion with government officials and animal rights activists.
A survey conducted last year by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on the actual state of edible dog breeding and distribution revealed the existence of 1,156 domestic edible dog farms, 34 slaughterhouses, 219 distributors, and 1,666 dog meat sales restaurants in Korea. However, we believe the actual numbers are likely to be higher.
The proposed legislation aims to safeguard up to 1 million dogs currently bred and slaughtered each year for human consumption. The government has committed to offering compensation and support to legally registered dog meat farmers, traders, slaughterers, and restaurant owners to either help them transition their businesses or shut them down.
Moreover, following the implementation of this special law, there are plans to remove dogs from the ‘Livestock Act,’ officially recognizing them as companion animals.
This prohibition also reflects the increasing trend of pet ownership in South Korea, where over 6 million dogs are now part of households, constituting about 22% of Korean households. Recent surveys by Nielsen Korea, commissioned by HSI/Korea, indicate that 86% of South Koreans are unlikely to consume dog meat in the future, and 57% are in favor of the ban. With the majority of South Koreans now opposing the consumption of dog meat and advocating for animal welfare, this bill marks a significant transformation in societal attitudes.
Free Korean Dogs remains committed to ending the dog meat trade, having made substantial progress in raising public awareness on this matter. Our efforts have led to the closure of three dog meat farm operations, saving over 250 dogs from slaughter. Dogs play a vital role in human society, providing emotional support and aiding those in need. We are steadfast in our belief that dogs greatly enrich our lives. Our aim is to encourage Korea to progress towards establishing a compassionate and harmonious relationship with these faithful companions, promoting a society in which all beings can live together in peace.
Explore stories from our successful dog meat farm shutdowns
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