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Seoul City to mediate conflicts over pets

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said this week it would offer mediation services when conflict arises among citizens over pets and stray animals.

The city will establish a team of six observers and five volunteers. The members will receive training next month and start operating from April.

According to the city, 700 to 1,000 cases of conflict related to animals are reported in each district every year. Of these cases, 38 percent are related to stray cats and 17 percent to pets.

Conflicts usually occur between residents and those that feed stray cats out of goodwill. Overpopulation of stray cats has long been a source of dispute in the city.

Other complaints include noise from dogs barking, and owners refusing to clean up after their dogs when they leave a mass on walks. Violence against animals and abandonment will also be subject to surveillance, the city said.

Once a case is reported, a team of two will be dispatched to the scene, conduct interviews, attempt to mediate and take any legal measures when necessary.

The city said the team will operate until the end of this year before deciding on whether to expand.

As of 2014, 18.8 percent of households in Seoul have pets, with the number of abandoned animals reaching an average of 9,000 each year. 

Korea Herald Youtube