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South Korea passes invoice banning canine meat commerce

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South Korea passes invoice banning canine meat commerce

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South Korea’s parliament handed a invoice that can make it unlawful to breed, slaughter and promote canine for human consumption — a victory for animal rights teams that had been preventing for years for the change.

The near-unanimous vote Tuesday in favor of the invoice — 208 lawmakers within the Nationwide Meeting voted in favor and two abstained — highlights the cultural and political shift in South Korea round canine meat consumption and the business that underpins the apply. As soon as a mainstream menu merchandise, canine meat has more and more fallen out of favor as pet possession has risen and issues over animal welfare have been extra broadly adopted.

In a Gallup Korea survey performed in 2022, greater than 60 % of South Koreans seen the consumption of canine meat unfavorable. Solely 8 % had eaten canine meat within the earlier 12 months, down from 27 % in 2015. The shift has been notably pronounced amongst youthful generations.

After the Nationwide Meeting vote on Tuesday, activists celebrated the invoice’s passage as a historic second for the nation. “I by no means thought I might see in my lifetime a ban on the merciless canine meat business in South Korea,” JungAh Chae, govt director of Humane Society Worldwide Korea, stated in a press release. “We reached a tipping level the place most Korean residents reject consuming canine.”

However some canine farmers instructed the Related Press they deliberate to problem the invoice in South Korea’s constitutional Courtroom.

Beneath the invoice, a ban on buying and selling canine meat might be enforced beginning in 2027. After that, slaughtering canine for consumption may result in penalties of as much as three years in jail or 30 million South Korean gained, about $22,800, in fines. Breeding and promoting canine for human consumption could possibly be punishable by as much as two years in jail or a positive of 20 million gained, about $15,200. The invoice doesn’t make consuming canine meat against the law.

Companies that breed, slaughter and promote canine might be eligible for presidency compensation after they submit a plan to native authorities outlining how they plan to close down their operations or transition to a different business. Rights teams similar to Humane Society Worldwide Korea have helped canine farmers transition to rising crops, similar to blueberries, medicinal herbs or parsley.

Teams representing canine farmers opposed the invoice, arguing {that a} ban would deprive them of their livelihoods and infringe on folks’s rights. Some South Koreans proceed to eat canine meat, particularly on the hottest days of summer season, often called “Boknal,” when some imagine that consuming canine meat dishes similar to “bosintang” soup is nice for the physique.

Son Received Hak, a farmer and former chief of a farmers’ affiliation, instructed the Related Press the invoice was “a transparent case of state violence as they’re infringing on our freedom to decide on our occupation.” He instructed the AP canine farmers will file a petition difficult the invoice’s constitutionality.

Joo Younger-bong, head of the Korea Canine Meat Farmers’ Affiliation, instructed The Washington Submit in November, when the invoice was first proposed, that it was “unviable.” “Transitioning off our lifelong job is a tough and unsustainable possibility for us farmers in 60s or 70s,” he stated.

South Korea unveils plan to ban canine meat by 2027

There are 1,156 registered canine farms in South Korea and 1,666 eating places that promote canine meat annually, in accordance to authorities knowledge cited by the Korea Instances. Teams representing breeders and farmers say the true numbers are two to a few occasions increased. Previous efforts to outlaw canine meat in South Korea have failed partially because of opposition from the business. A protest in opposition to the invoice organized by the Korea Canine Meat Farmers’ Affiliation in November close to the presidential palace in Seoul turned chaotic, with some protesters confronting police, in accordance to Reuters.

However animal rights teams say public attitudes have modified — partially as a result of extra South Koreans now personal canine as pets and really feel extra strongly about defending them. In keeping with the Agriculture Ministry, 3.02 million canine had been saved as pets in South Korea in 2022, up from 1.3 million in 2018.

As The Submit beforehand reported, the invoice was additionally backed by South Korea’s president, Yoon Suk Yeol, and his spouse, first woman Kim Keon Hee, who’re often called animal lovers and personal a number of canine and cats. Kim attended an animal rights occasion in August and stated that “canine meat consumption ought to come to an finish … in an period when people and pets coexist as mates.”

Min Joo Kim and Andrew Jeong contributed to this report.

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