An official in South Korea’s ruling party said on Friday that the country is seeking to ban the consumption of dog meat and put an end to the controversy surrounding this ancient practice amid growing awareness of animal rights.
Eating dogs by Koreans has faced criticism from abroad due to the cruelty of this practice, but it also faces opposition domestically, especially from younger generations.
Yoo Eui-dong, the policy chief of the ruling People Power Party, was quoted by Reuters after a meeting with government officials and animal rights activists as saying, “It is time to end social conflicts and debate over the consumption of dog meat by enacting a specific law to end it.”
Yoo mentioned that the government and the ruling party will introduce a bill this year to impose a ban, adding that parliament is expected to approve it with the anticipated support from both the ruling and opposition parties.
During the meeting, Agriculture Minister Jeong Hwan-kyung stated that the government would implement the ban quickly and provide the maximum possible support to workers in the dog meat industry to cease their activities.
Kim Kyung-hee, the First Lady of South Korea, is one of the prominent critics of consuming dog meat and, along with her husband, President Moon Jae-in, has adopted stray dogs.
Previous legislative proposals to ban the consumption of dog meat have failed in parliament due to protests from workers in this sector and fears of harming the livelihoods of breeders and restaurant owners.
The proposed ban would include a three-year grace period and financial support for companies to transition to a different, alternative activity.