The Korea Herald


Ministry launches special team to end dog meat consumption by 2027

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : April 30, 2024 - 15:15

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A restaurant selling dog meat in Seoul (Newsis) A restaurant selling dog meat in Seoul (Newsis)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on Tuesday launched a special commission dedicated to ending dog meat consumption in the country by 2027.

Earlier on Jan. 22, the ministry had introduced a task force to iron out the details of implementing a government plan to end the practice, with a revision to the related law taking effect Tuesday.

The task force has become an official entity under the ministry, comprising 13 members, including officials from the Ministry of Interior and Safety, and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

The team will operate for three years under the animal welfare policy division of the Agriculture Ministry.

"Through organic collaboration with local governments, affiliated agencies and experts, we expect to ... end dog meat consumption (in the nation) by 2027," an official from the Agriculture Ministry stated, adding, "We will then be able to further concentrate on improving animal welfare standards."

The task force will also focus on developing regulations and policies to support existing dog farms that will be affected by the law revision.

Since the National Assembly passed a special bill banning the consumption of dog meat on Jan. 9, set to begin in 2027, local dog meat farmers have asked the government to provide them with 2 million won ($1,450) compensation per dog, as well as grant a 10-year grace period.

Under the new legislation, those killing dogs for consumption could face a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine of up to 30 million won, while those selling dog meat could receive a maximum prison sentence of two years or a fine of up to 20 million won.

According to government statistics, there are approximately 1,150 dog farms in Korea, as well as 34 butchering businesses, 219 dog meat distributors and around 1,600 restaurants serving dog meat.

Since 2021, the Agriculture Ministry has been engaging in campaigns to gather opinions on ending dog meat consumption and devising measures to compensate local farmers and retailers of dog meat.