There’s good news and bad news for dogs in South Korea…The government has announced that it will ban the selling of dog meat in three year’s time.
The “grace” period is being deemed sufficient to allow existing businesses to transition to another trade.
Boshintang (dog meat stew) is a traditional delicacy but a 2023 Gallup poll found that just 8% of those polled admitted to having tried dog meat in the previous 12 months, a reduction from 27% in 2015. Fewer than a 20% of those polled said that they supported the consumption of the meat. Even allowing for a reluctance to admit to an unpopular practice, figures are low.
Once the new legislation is in place, convicted dog butchers will face up to three years in prison and anyone convicted of rearing dogs for meat two years. Details have yet to be announced of compensation for dog meat restaurants.
This is no doubt due to the spread of cultural change prompted by the spread of information globally and the rise in the keeping of dogs as companion animals. Whilst it is to be welcomed, it won’t help the dogs that will be butchered, perhaps under less than ideal conditions, over the next three years. However, it may act as an exemplar for other south Asian countries where the practice still continues.