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Bill To Outlaw Trade In Dog Meat Passed By The Parliament Of South Korea

Bill To Outlaw Trade In Dog Meat Passed By The Parliament Of South Korea
South Korea's parliament passed a bill on Tuesday to ban the consumption and sale of dog meat, outlawing the contentious centuries-old practice amid increased support for animal welfare.
Eating dog flesh was previously thought to increase stamina during the sweltering Korean summer. However, it has become a rarity, eaten largely by the elderly, as more Koreans see dogs as family pets and criticism of how dogs are slain has grown.
Activists claim that most dogs are electrocuted or hanged when slain for meat, despite breeders and traders claiming that progress has been made towards more humane slaughtering practices.
Support for the prohibition has strengthened under President Yoon Suk Yeol, an animal lover who has adopted six dogs and eight cats with first lady Kim Keon Hee, who is also a strong opponent of dog meat consumption.
The bill, proposed by the ruling party, passed with 208 votes and two abstentions in the single-chamber parliament after being approved by its nonpartisan agriculture committee on Monday.
The measure will go into force after a three-year grace period. Breaking the legislation might result in a three-year prison sentence or a fine of 30 million won ($22,800).
"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."
According to a study issued on Monday by Animal Welfare Awareness, Research, and Education, a Seoul-based think tank, more than 94% of respondents said they had not eaten dog meat in the previous year and almost 93% indicated they would not do so in the future.
Previous efforts to restrict dog meat have failed due to industry protests, and the bill seeks to compensate firms who leave the trade.
In November, over 200 dog breeders protested near the presidential office, demanding that the bill be repealed.
According to the agriculture ministry, as of April 2022, 1,100 farms were breeding 570,000 canines to be supplied in approximately 1,600 restaurants.
According to the Korean Association of Edible canines, a breeder and seller group, the prohibition will affect 3,500 farms that raise 1.5 million canines, as well as 3,000 eateries.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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