Korea remains divided over how quickly to close down dog meat industry

Animal rights activists hold a protest in front of Moran Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, May 25, denouncing dog meat industry stakeholders for allegedly expanding their businesses to get compensation after the passage of the dog meat ban.     Yonhap

Korea’s animal advocacy groups and dog meat industry stakeholders remain divided over how quickly to end the contentious trade following the National Assembly’s passage of the bill to root out the long-practiced consumption of man’s best friend in Korea, earlier this year.

Animal groups call for a prompt end through rescue and euthanasia before the bill takes full-scale effect in 2027, while dog meat farmers argue for a “natural end” to the age-old food culture.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Tuesday, over 500,000 dogs are being raised for human consumption by a total of 1,507 dog farms in Korea. The figure is greater than or similar to the government’s latest study that estimated some 1,156 dog farms are raising over 520,000 dogs for meat consumption nationwide.

Over half, or 53.6 percent, of these facilities are owned by those aged over 65 who have little to no experience working in other fields, the ministry noted.

Under the special act, which passed under rare political unity in January, raising or butchering dogs for human consumption will be illegal in Korea from 2027. Industry stakeholders are to submit plans outlining the steps to downsize and eventually shut down their businesses by Aug. 5.

According to the Korean Association of Edible Dog’s view, it will take about two and a half years for the industry to completely close down 추천 and disappear. The calculation is based on an estimate that some 200,000 dogs are sold annually in the market here.

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