DOG MEAT FARMING - South Korea has banned the torture, killing, and eating of dogs! The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) passed the “Special Bill (Alternative Bill) to End the Breeding, Slaughter, and Distribution of Dogs for Consumption and Dog Meat Consumption” (Special Bill to End Dog Meat) on January 9, 2024. The vote was unanimous, 208 in favor, 0 opposed, with 2 abstentions.
The Special Bill to End Dog Meat will allow for a three-year period to completely phase out the dog meat industry. The law requires businesses involved with dog meat, such as dog farms, dog butchers, traders, and restaurants, to submit a phase-out plan to local authorities within six months. Businesses that submit such a plan will receive financial support. The Special Bill provides for the closure of existing dog meat farms and for subsidies, education, and training to assist dog farmers in transitioning to new occupations and businesses. The Special Bill prohibits the establishment and operation of new or additional dog meat facilities. It sets a specific time of three years from the date of promulgation for the complete elimination of dog meat and implementation of criminal penalties, but provides the financial and other incentives to shut down dog meat farms prior to the three-year deadline. The criminal penalties in the Bill are:
- Any person who slaughters a dog for the purpose of consumption shall be punished by imprisonment for up to 3 years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won (approximately $23,000).
- Any person who breeds dogs for consumption, or who distributes or sells dogs or food cooked or processed using dogs as raw materials for the purpose of consumption, shall be punished with imprisonment for up to 2 years or a fine of up to 20 million won (approximately $15,000).
The Special Bill requires all levels of local government to establish necessary measures to eradicate dog meat consumption. Non-governmental organizations and private entities may support the measures of the local governments (which includes animal welfare organizations and rescues caring for dogs released from dog meat facilities). The Bill provides that other matters necessary for the establishment and implementation of the basic plan to end dog meat shall be determined by Presidential Decree.
A realization of just how significant this is: It is a cultural sea change in South Korea. It will prevent the torture and death of millions of dogs. It will serve as an example to other countries that still allow dog meat – China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia, among others. For a description of the dog meat trade in South Korea and other countries, please see: CityWatchLa, July 6, 2023, Progress on Banning Dog Meat In South Korea!
CityWatchLA, June 17, 2019, Help Stop the Brutal Torture and Killing of Tens of Millions of Dogs in the Dog Meat Trade.
“South Korea’s dog meat ban is a dream come true. We are overjoyed by this change and thank lawmakers and local activists who have worked tirelessly to see this become a reality despite the dangers and pushback,” said Fleur Dawes, Director of Communications and International Partnerships for the organization In Defense of Animals. “Countless dogs will now be spared a horrifying death in the dog meat trade. During the phase-out period, we will continue our vital work to save as many innocent lives as we can.”
For further information, please see In Defense of Animals Media Releases:
Congratulations and thank you to Everyone who has worked to end the torture and killing of the dog meat trade in South Korea. Thank you to Korean War Veterans Anthony Melecca, Eugene Clifford Barker, and Orville McKinney, who risked their lives to defend South Korea and who appeared in the Anti-Dog Meat Video (Link); Congressman Brad Sherman, Priscilla Presley, Katherine Heigl, and other celebrities who also appeared in the Anti-Dog Meat Video (Link); the Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition; In Defense of Animals; K9 Global Rescue and Jon Barocas; and many others.
Special thanks to Jim Hampton and Ken Draper, Publishers and Editors in Chief of CityWatch, who have published my articles about dog meat for the past five years. (Link)
Now let’s continue our efforts to ban dog meat in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and other countries! Please see: News Conference to Stop Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
(Jeffrey Mausner (www.mausnerlaw.com/) is on the Executive Committee of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) where he serves as the Liaison to the Los Angeles Animal Services Department; he is 2nd Vice President of the Tarzana Neighborhood Council and Chair of its Animal Welfare Committee; and is a Volunteer at the West Valley Animal Shelter. He was previously a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate and is now a Budget Representative. He is a retired attorney and law school professor and was formerly a Federal Prosecutor for the U.S. Justice Department, where he received numerous awards from the Attorney General of the U.S. (Link) Jeff is a Featured Writer for CityWatch. His other articles can be found here. In September 2023, Jeff received the Guardian of the Animals Award from the organization In Defense of Animals. (Link) This article is written in his private individual capacity, not on behalf of the Animal Services Department.)