South Korea passes law banning dog meat trade

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday to ban the consumption and sale of dog meat in a move cheered by animal welfare groups.

“This is history in the making,” JungAh Chae, the executive director of Humane Society International Korea, said in a statement.

“I never thought I would see in my lifetime a ban on the cruel dog meat industry in South Korea, but this historic win for animals is testament to the passion and determination of our animal protection movement,” she added.

Jeung Seung-yong, president of South Korean animal welfare group Catch Dog, said it had taken decades of campaigning to achieve the ban.

“Until now, about 100 small and large South Korean advocate groups worked together to increase awareness about the utterly cruel ways dogs, including stolen ones, were killed for eating,” said Jeung, whose group has shut down about 250 dog farms and rescued about 5,000 dogs since it was founded in 2019.

The centuries-old practice of eating dog meat has been fading in South Korea, though some older people, especially, still believe it provides health benefits during the hot summer. Up to 1 million dogs are farmed and killed in South Korea every year for human consumption, according to Humane Society International Korea.

The tradition stemmed in part from the needs of ordinary people with limited access to beef and other meat, and advocates of the ban had argued there was no longer any need to consume dog meat because South Korea is now an affluent society with the world’s 13th-biggest economy.


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