A South Korean court has made a landmark ruling on how it is illegal to kill dogs for their meat – and it could pave the way for a national ban.
Though dog meat consumption in South Korea has been a controversial topic of cultural discussion, the practice has been on the decline. 70% of South Koreans already refuse to eat dog meat thanks to pressure from animal rights activists and Western influences.
Though the nation has not banned dog meat consumption altogether, they have passed smaller laws that force vendors to conform to high standards of hygiene, facility conditions, and animal treatment.
This most recent ruling, however, could be a game-changer. Animal rights organization Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) took legal action against a dog meat farmer who was accused of maintaining poor hygienic conditions and harming animals “without proper reason.” Though the case took place in April, details of the ruling were only released this week.
In addition to fining and convicting the farmer without an appeal, the court ruled that food was not a proper reason for killing canines.
“It is very significant in that it is the first court decision that killing dogs for dog meat is illegal itself,” said Kim Kyung-eun, a lawyer with CARE, adding that the precedent has “paved the way for outlawing dog meat consumption entirely.”
CARE hopes that the historic decision will soon lead to a national ban on dog meat consumption. Until then, they say that they plan on continuing their efforts to investigate and expose meat farmers who are violating animal rights regulations.