South Korean agriculture ministry launches task force on ending dog meat consumption

South Korea
Photo credit: Yonhap

South Korea's agriculture ministry said Monday it has launched a task force dedicated to working out the details of implementing the government's plan to end the consumption of dog meat by 2027, Yonhap reports.

The launch came as the National Assembly passed a special bill banning dog meat consumption earlier this month, paving the way for ending the practice that has fallen out of favor in recent decades.

The team will focus on coming up with follow-up measures, including drawing subordinate regulations, along with policies to support existing dog farms, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The enforcement of the law is slated to begin in 2027, after a three-year grace period, and those butchering dogs could face a maximum prison sentence of three years or a fine of up to 30 million won (US$22,400).

People selling dog meat can also face a maximum prison sentence of two years or a fine of up to 20 million won.

"The new organization was established ahead of the law's implementation, to transform into a country that no longer consumes dog meat," Agriculture Minister Song Mi-ryung said in a statement.

"We plan to continue communicating with the dog meat industry and animal rights organizations to come up with reasonable solutions, and completely end dog meat consumption without disruptions," she added.

According to government statistics, there are around 1,150 dog farms, 34 butchering businesses, 219 distributors and approximately 1,600 restaurants that sell food made with dog meat in South Korea.

Local farmers raising dogs for consumption have been demanding that the government provide 2 million-won compensation per dog with a 10-year grace period.

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