South Korea passes bill to end dog meat trade by 2027

South Korea has passed a new law to end the slaughter and selling of dogs for their meat by 2027.

The National Assembly passed the special bill on Tuesday (January 9, 2024).

The law aims to end the age-old practice of consuming dog meat in the country.

The bill, which bans the breeding, butchering, distributing and selling of dogs for meat, passed through the parliament with 208 votes in favour and 2 abstentions, reported South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) have jointly pushed for the ban amid growing awareness of animal rights and an increasing number of pet owners in the country, the news agency reported.

Govt. to provide subsidies, aid in switching jobs

The bill also calls for providing subsidies to help people in the dog meat industry switch jobs.

The law enforcement is set to be effective from 2027.

Violators could face a maximum two years of prison sentence or a fine of up to 30 million won (USD 22,768), reported Yonhap.

According to government statistics, there are around 1,150 dog farms, 34 butchering businesses, 219 distributors and approximately 1,600 restaurants that sell food made with dog meat in South Korea, the South Korean news agency reported.

Animal rights groups immediately welcomed the move imposed by the government.

“We believe this ban marks a significant turning point in South Korea’s attitude to animal protection,” Lee Sang-kyung, a spokesperson for the local branch of the Humane Society International, an animal rights group, told Yonhap. “(This) is testament to the passion and determination of our animal-loving public and politicians who reached a tipping point to consign this outdated industry to our history books.”