- South Korea's Yoon Suk Yeol administration and the ruling People Power Party agreed on Friday to push for a ban on the controversial age-old practice of dog meat consumption later this year, which would come into full effect in 2027 after a three-year grace period to phase out the industry.1
- Seoul estimates that there are around 1,150 dog farms, 34 butchering businesses, 219 distributors, and 1.6K restaurants that sell dog meat across the country. Financial support would be limited to legally registered businesses that submit a phase-out plan to local authorities.2
- This planned bill comes a few months after South Korean First Lady Kim Keon Hee called for the end of dog meat consumption while attending an animal rights event. She and Pres. Yoon are known as animal lovers, having six dogs and five cats.3
- A Gallup Korea poll last year found that only 8% of the population had eaten dog meat within the past year, down from more than a quarter in 2015. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents opposed dog meat consumption.4
- Though the practice isn't explicitly legalized in South Korea, previous attempts to pass similar bills banning it have been unsuccessful, largely due to protests and worries about the livelihoods of farmers and restaurant owners.5
- Roughly 50 representatives of a national dog farmers association demonstrated outside the National Assembly shortly after Friday's announcement to express their opposition, claiming that such legislation would threaten their livelihood.6
- Narrative A, as provided by Humane Society International. South Korea will, finally, ban this cruel practice, closing an infamous chapter in its history and saving the lives of up to one million dogs a year. This bill reflects the zeitgeist of South Korean society, which has increasingly opposed dog meat consumption while supporting a dog-friendly future.
- Narrative B, as provided by Korea Times. Dog meat consumption has indeed dwindled sharply in South Korea amid a rapid cultural change, with this practice tending to gradually disappear as the older generations die out. As there are no objective moral or ethical criteria that justify specifically banning dog meat, this bill would dangerously codify a mainstream cultural taboo at the expense of individual freedom of choice.