Dogs living outside on a short leash are a common sight in Korea, but the majority of people here feel such practices should be banned by law, a survey shows.
Private animal welfare research institute Aware recently published survey results on the public perception of animal welfare policies. It surveyed 2,000 adults in 17 cities nationwide on laws and awareness of animal protection.
According to the survey, 82.5 percent of respondents agreed that raising animals tied to short ropes or locked in narrow spaces should be legally banned, with 44 percent saying they “tend to agree” and 38.5 percent saying they “agree.”
A majority of Koreans are also against the consumption of dog meat, the survey shows.
Nearly 8 out of 10 Koreans, 78.1 percent of respondents, are in favor of banning slaughtering and selling dogs and cats for food, with 48.9 percent saying they are strongly in favor of such a ban.
Moves to ban dog consumption have emerged in politics in recent years.
In 2018, Pyo Chang-won, then a lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, proposed a bill to ban the slaughter of dogs, though it failed to pass in the 20th Assembly. Early this year, ruling party lawmaker and Environment Minister Han Jeoung-ae proposed a similar bill before being appointed in the position. Last month, presidential front-runner and Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung called for a ban on eating dogs and selling pets at the legal and institutional level.
The poll showed many Koreans believe laws should be toughened to protect animals.
Ninety-seven percent of respondents said that the punishment of animal abusers should be strengthened to prevent animal abuse. Specifically, 97.3 percent said that those who abused animals should be deprived of ownership and 98.3 percent said abusers should be banned from raising other animals for a certain period of time.
While 92.5 percent of respondents said they are aware of the animal protection law, only 30.6 percent agreed that Korea’s animal protection law could “prevent animal abuse.”
When asked why animals are abandoned, 76.5 percent of respondents pointed to the lack of responsibility of those who raise pets. In the survey that allowed multiple responses, 58.5 percent said the level of punishment is weak, while 47.7 percent said it is easy to buy and sell pets.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org