A new law in South Korea prohibits the commercialization and slaughter of dogs for their flesh by the year 2027. The legislation seeks to eradicate the age-old custom of consuming canine flesh.
Dog meat has experienced a decline in popularity among consumers in recent decades. It is especially shunned by youth.
Raising or slaughtering canines for human consumption, as well as the distribution or sale of dog meat, will be prohibited by law. Those convicted of such conduct could face incarceration.
Those who butcher dogs may be sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison, whereas those who raise dogs for human consumption or trade dog flesh may receive a two-year sentence. Nevertheless, the act of consuming dog meat will remain lawful.
Three years prior to the implementation of the new legislation, restaurant and farming proprietors will have the opportunity to seek alternative income and employment opportunities. A business phase-out plan must be submitted to the appropriate local authorities.
Although the compensation that will be offered to dog meat farmers, butchers, and restaurant proprietors whose establishments will be forced to close has yet to be determined, the government has pledged to provide them with complete assistance.
In 2023, government statistics indicate that there were approximately 1,600 dog meat restaurants and 1,150 dog farms in South Korea.
Boshintang stew made with dog meat is regarded as a delicacy by certain elderly South Koreans, but the flesh has lost favour among the youth.
Last year, only about 10% of respondents to a Gallup poll said they had sampled dog meat within the previous year, a decrease from 2015's figure of 25%. A minority, specifically less than one-fifth, of the respondents expressed support for the meat's ingestion.
Bans on dog meat have been pledged by governments since the 1980s; however, these efforts have been in vain. First Lady Kim Keon Hee and the current president, Yoon Suk Yeol, are both well-known animal enthusiasts. Six dogs are owned by the couple, and Ms Kim has demanded an end to the practice of canine consumption.
Animal rights organisations, which have advocated for the ban for years, lauded the results of the referendum on Tuesday.
The executive director of the Humane Society in Korea, Jung Ah Chae, expressed surprise at the ban occurring during her tenure.
She stated, "Although my compassion aches for the millions of canines who died when this transformation occurred too late, I am ecstatic that South Korea can now put this tragic chapter in our past to rest and embrace a future that is kind to canines."
The law was met with opposition from farmers who produced dog meat. They argued that the practice ought to be allowed to naturally decrease in popularity among the younger generation because of the fact that its popularity is decreasing among that group.
A great number of elderly farmers and restaurateurs have stated their belief that making a profession change at such a late point in life would be considered difficult.
According to Joo Yeong-bong, a dog farmer, the industry is in a condition of depression. This information was provided to source.