Seoul Introduces Task Force to Implement Ban on Dog Meat Consumption by 2027

SEOUL - The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in South Korea announced the formation of a task force on Monday, focusing on the implementation of the recent government plan to phase out dog meat consumption by 2027. This initiative follows the passage of a special bill earlier this month by the National Assembly, which officially prohibits the consumption of dog meat.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the task force's primary role will be to develop subordinate regulations and policies supporting existing dog farms in the transition period. The enforcement of the new law is scheduled to commence in 2027, after a three-year grace period. Under the new regulations, individuals involved in the butchering of dogs could face up to three years in prison or a fine of up to 30 million won (approximately US$22,400). Similarly, penalties for selling dog meat include a maximum two-year prison sentence or a fine of up to 20 million won.

Agriculture Minister Song Mi-ryung emphasized the importance of the task force in ensuring a smooth transition from a country where dog meat is consumed to one where it is not. The ministry plans to engage with both the dog meat industry and animal rights organizations to find equitable solutions and end the consumption of dog meat without causing disruptions.

Current government statistics indicate the existence of about 1,150 dog farms, 34 butchering businesses, 219 distributors, and roughly 1,600 restaurants that serve dog meat in South Korea. In response to the upcoming changes, local farmers who raise dogs for consumption have requested compensation from the government, suggesting 2 million won per dog along with a 10-year grace period.

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