South Korea Outlaws Dog Meat Trade

South Korea Outlaws Dog Meat Trade
Image copyright: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images via Getty Images News (Aug. 7, 2012)

The Facts

  • On Tuesday, South Korea's parliament passed a bill to ban the breeding, slaughter, distribution, and sale of dogs to produce meat for human consumption — including food products made or processed with dog ingredients.

  • The ban, approved in the National Assembly by an overwhelming vote of 208-to-0 with two abstentions, will be effective beginning in 2027.


The Spin

Narrative A

The bill effectively prohibits dog meat lovers from relishing traditional food, which is important for cultural reasons. The ban's legitimacy must be challenged as it infringes on millions of people's right to eat what they like. Moreover, it will be near impossible for the farmers and restaurant owners, many of them elderly, to find alternative sources of employment and income within three years and switch livelihoods so late in life.

Narrative B

While dog meat has long been considered a delicacy by older South Koreans, it's unfair to cause unimaginable pain and suffering to millions of dogs. Plus, this tradition has fallen out of favor with younger generations. The ban was necessary to uphold animal rights, as most dogs are killed in unimaginably cruel ways. This bill should be celebrated and a fair transition to alternative industries should continue.


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