South korean dog eating Bill

South Korean dog eating Bill: Jan. 9, SEOUL (Reuters) – A bill to outlaw the sale and consumption of dog meat was approved by the South Korean parliament on Tuesday. This will put an end to the contentious, centuries-old practice at a time when animal welfare is gaining ground.

In the past, eating dog meat was thought to increase stamina during the hot Korean summer. However, the practice has become rare, mostly restricted to certain restaurants and older people, as more Koreans view dogs as family pets and as opposition to the methods used in their slaughter has grown.

The majority of dogs that are killed for meat are electrocuted or hanged, according to activists; however, breeders and dealers contend that efforts have been made to render the process more humane.

Under President Yoon Suk Yeol, an animal lover who has six dogs and eight cats with First Lady Kim Keon Hee, who is also a vocal opponent of the eating of dog meat, support for the ban has increased.

Over time, pet ownership has increased as well. According to government data, one in four Korean households had a pet dog in 2022, up from 16% in 2010.

The bill, which was put forth by the ruling party and received unusual bipartisan support, was passed by the single-chamber parliament by an overwhelming 208 votes to 2 abstentions.

After a three-year grace period, the law—whose stated goal is “to eradicate the consumption of dogs”—will go into force. Breeding and killing dogs for meat for human consumption carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of thirty million won ($22,800). The bill makes no mention of penalties for consuming dog meat in general.

“This is history in the making,” said Chae Jung-ah, executive director of Humane Society International Korea, an animal protection group. “The majority of Korean citizens no longer support eating dogs and want to see this suffering forgotten,” the statement reads.

More than 94% of respondents to a poll conducted on Monday by the Seoul-based think tank Animal Welfare Awareness, Research and Education stated they had not eaten dog meat in the previous year, and roughly 93% said they would not do so going forward.

Support for the ban has been reported in other polls at roughly 56%.

In response to industry protests, previous attempts to outlaw the sale of dog meat were unsuccessful, and the bill aims to compensate companies in order to allow them to exit the market.

Son Won-hak, a representative of the Korean Association of Edible Dogs, a confederation of breeders and vendors, stated that the organisation intends to challenge the legality of the law in the nation’s Constitutional Court. However, he did not provide further details.

However, its members made demands for compensation in the event that the bill is passed. A minimum of 2 million won ($1,520) per dog is being sought as compensation for losses incurred over the next five years, in addition to the costs associated with closing down the facilities.

According to the ministry of agriculture, it will confer with pertinent companies to guarantee their sustained operations and offer “maximum support within a reasonable range.”

According to estimates from the ministry, as of April 2022, about 1,100 farms were producing 570,000 dogs for about 1,600 restaurants to serve. 

The farmers’ association said the ban will affect 3,500 farms raising 1.5 million dogs as well as 3,000 restaurants.

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