The issue of dog meat is becoming more controversial due to the growing awareness of animal rights and welfare in South Korea. Currently, 2 million dogs per year are being slaughtered for food and supplied through traditional markets or slaughterhouses. It is illegal to slaughter dogs for consumption.
The current Korean Animal Protection Act defines animal abuse in process of slaughter as follows:
…killing an animal by hanging it by the neck or by using any other cruel methods, killing an animal on the street or any other place open to the public, and killing an animal in the presence of the same species.”
Article 8 section 1 clause 4 of the act prohibits killing an animal ‘without any justifiable grounds.’ Justifiable grounds is specified by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) as that which is necessary for veterinary treatment, or in response to harm or damage caused by an animal to human life, body or property.
Slaughtering dogs for eating is ‘killing an animal without any justifiable grounds’, and is a violation of the Animal Protection Act. Therefore, suppliers of dog meat should be punished according to the current penalty provisions of imprisonment with labor for not more than one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten million won.
We will accuse all who slaughter dogs as committing an infraction of the Animal Protection Act.
After having received reports, we recently visited 3 traditional markets in and near Seoul (Moran, Gyeongdong, and Jungang) where dogs are still being slaughtered and dog meat is being sold. At these markets, dogs were being killed in brutal ways in violation of Article 8 Section 1 Clauses 2 and 4 of the Animal Protection Act.
On 12th July 2017, CARE filed a bill of indictment at the Seoul Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, accusing 15 people who slaughtered and sold dog meat for infractions under Article 8 Section 1 Clauses 1, 2 and 4 of the Animal Protection Act. We obtained evidence that dogs were being killed illegally at one place in Jungang market and four places in Moran market.
Dog meat contravenes the Animal Protection Act itself without specific legislation prohibiting dog meat. Illegal dog meat farms must be shut down immediately and unlawful acts must be punished more severely.
We will continue to investigate dog meat markets in order to accumulate evidence and accuse involved parties consistently. We will continue to push for a ban on slaughtering dogs for consumption.