Update: “Stop eating dogs!” Establishment of the consultative discussion committee on ending dog meat consumption

Below is a translation of a news article published by Aju News on December 12, 2021:

December 10th every year is World Animal Rights Day. This day was created to recognize the rights of animals everywhere that feel pain and experience emotions.

On the eve of World Animal Rights Day, the “consultative discussion committee on ending dog meat consumption” was formed. This group is dedicated to discussing ways to properly end dog meat consumption. The committee, made up of dog breeding farmers, government ministries, and animal protection groups, will discuss the issue of dog meat extensively until April next year and push for an official end to this industry.

‘Committee for the discussion of dog meat issues’ began its activity.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the committee to discuss the dog meat issue held its first meeting on December 9th at the government complex in Seoul. On that day, the committee discussed operating regulations, public awareness surveys, and a study of the breeding and distribution of ‘meat dogs.’

The committee, officially launched on that day, consisted of 21 members. It was chaired by Professor Jeong Kwang-Ho, dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration at Seoul National University. Four government officials, two officials from animal protection groups, and four dog meat farm owners and merchants will participate as members. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will take on the role of general manager and secretary of the committee.

If necessary, the discussion will be divided into the areas of production and distribution. The production division will be supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the dog meat producers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government members, and related experts will participate. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety will oversee the distribution division, and dog meat distributors and restaurants will participate instead of the dog meat producers. Other than that, the composition is the same as the production division.

The operating period is 5 months, starting in December and ending in April of next year. However, if deemed necessary, the period may be extended by a resolution of the committee. The meeting will be held once a month. But when necessary, additional sessions will be occasionally held.

전북 정읍의 개도살장에서 동물보호관리시스템에 올라와 있는 개들이 발견됐다. 동물자유연대 제공. Dogs on the animal protection management system were found at a dog slaughterhouse in Jeongeup, Jeollabuk-do. KAWA.

6 ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, participated in discussions

The committee was established through government discussions. On November 25th, the government held a state affairs review and coordination meeting presided over by Prime Minister Kim Boo-Kyum to discuss the “direction of social discussion on the official end of dog eating.”

The meeting was attended by the Office of the Agriculture, Forestry, Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs of the Office of Government Policy Coordination and six other ministries. The discussion was held by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Task Force (TF), Food Safety Policy Division of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Water Environment Policy Division of the Ministry of Environment, Communication Support Division of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Autonomous Administration Division of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, and Industrial Economy Division of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

The participants decided to conduct a comprehensive and detailed study of the dog meat industry jointly with relevant ministries. In particular, they decided to create a social discussion organization to discuss the issue of dog meat extensively until April next year.

In addition, it was decided that a pan-government consultative organization composed of the head of the Office for Policy Coordination and Vice Ministers of relevant ministries will develop a plan to implement the decisions of the social discussion committee. The pan-government consultative organization includes the Vice Ministers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affair, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

The roles of each ministry were specified. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs serve as the general manager and secretary of the social discussion committee and the government support council. It also plays the role of general manager and secretary for fact-finding survey and support review. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety conducts fact-finding investigations on dog meat restaurants and distribution channel. These two ministries also form separate task forces. The Ministry of Environment will support the survey of dog farms.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, and the Ministry of Environment will review the proposals related to dog meat consumption and conduct inspections of illegal activities.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will ask for public comments while discussing the potential end to eating dog meat. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security will ask the local governments with dog breeding farms to cooperate with the fact-finding investigation. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance is in charge of discussing the budget for implementing the plan. The Office of National Assistance will oversee the operation and support of social discussion organizations and government support councils.

A government official recently stated, “Dog breeding, slaughter, distribution, and sales have been customary in the institutional blind spot, so it is crucial to understand the actual situation in order promote a policy to end dog eating and prepare new measures.”

A dog farm near the dog bite accident that occurred in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province on the 22nd of last month. Dogs are being bred in filth. KARA. 지난달 22일 경기 남양주시에서 발생한 개물림 사고 인근 개농장. 개들이 오물 속에서 사육되고 있다. 카라 제공.

Field survey of dog farms, restaurants, and opinion polls by February next year

The committee and the government will survey the public opinion on breeding and distribution of “meat dogs” starting this month.

The survey on the breeding and distribution of dogs for meat will be conducted jointly with related ministries for three months from December this year to February next year.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Environment are responsible for investigating dog breeding farms. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety are responsible for investigating dog slaughterhouses. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety will conduct a survey of related restaurants and merchants, such as dog meat soup (“bosintang”) restaurants and health centers. Relevant local government officials will personally visit sites to check the dog breeding status and business conditions.

Public opinion surveys will also be conducted this month. The plan is to survey 3,000 adults, men, and women over 19, nationwide by telephone interview and an online survey.

Jeong Gwang-Ho, chairman of the consultative discussion committee on ending dog meat consumption, said, “We will try to come up with reasonable alternatives to the dog meat consumption by collecting public opinions widely and through sufficient discussion among members.”

Opinions on dog eating are divided according to the details. On September 29-30, RnSearch, a polling company, surveyed 1,132 adults over 18 across the country about the idea of a ‘total ban of dog eating.’ 36.3% of respondents favored, and 27.5% opposed the ban. The survey was conducted after President Moon Jae-In stated on the 27th of the same month that “the time has come to carefully consider the ban on eating dogs.”

On the other hand, on November 2nd, when Realmeter, a polling company, asked 500 adult men and women across the country for their opinions on the ‘legislation of dog eating ban,’ by request of OhmyNews, the opposition (48.9%) greatly outnumbered those in favor (38.6%).

A bill banning the consumption of dogs is also dormant in the National Assembly. In December of last year, Representative Han Jeong-Ae of the Democratic Party of Korea, who is currently the Minister of Environment, proposed a bill to amend the Animal Protection Act, prohibiting the slaughter of dogs and cats for food or sale, punishing those who violate the law. However, the parliamentary debate has been slow thus far.

A government official said, “People are negative about eating dogs, but they are also negative about prohibiting it by laws… the dog meat issue is complex because it involves people’s basic rights and animal welfare. I hope that there will be enough communication and discussion in the social discussion committee.”

Dog Meat Soup (Boshintang) Alley at Chilseong Market in Daegu on the 24th of last month. Yonhap News. 지난달 24일 대구 칠성시장 보신탕 골목 모습. 연합뉴스.
  1. Todd
    ToddDecember 16,21

    This needs to Stop! We need to get these folks more educated on this topic!

  2. Tina Johnson
    Tina JohnsonDecember 16,21

    These sentient animals should not endure such violence and torture. It violates my right as a human to liberty of safety and peace.

  3. Stephen Zaharias
    Stephen ZahariasDecember 16,21

    Dogs are NOT food fir humans. Digs walk blind people. Dogs visit sick people. Dogs help the military and law enforcement. Dogs fewl pain and dream in their sleep.

    [email protected]December 16,21

    This had to END it is MURDER it is illegal it is barbaric. It is cruelty and it is disgusting.
    Dogs and cats were not put on this earth to be tortured and abused. They were not put on this earth for human consumption. Why is this still going on. It is pure evil. These poor innocent Animals are suffering. Why???? Why are these people doing this. What is wrong with them. They should be prosecuted and imprisoned. I any other country they round be imprisoned for there act of cruelty to innocent Animals. We have to keep on and on for this to end.

  5. Ray Winfield
    Ray WinfieldDecember 16,21

    Sorry Todd but education simply won’t do because these people are beyond the point of caring about animals and their welfare. Only a TOTAL boycott of Korean and Chinese goods will make them listen and the general public are so devoted to cheap goods that they prefer to take the lazy way out – just don’t think about it.

  6. Tiffanie Ann Roher
    Tiffanie Ann RoherDecember 16,21

    Eye for an eye! You get back what you do to others! Cowards! Try to pick on someone that isn’t caged, tied up, scared, or hurt! You can’t or you’d get your ass beat and you know it! God has a place for you and it’s a life of torture like you’ve done to others and more so, you’ll get yours.. you’re not getting away with anything! God makes Sure of this!

  7. Banks
    BanksDecember 16,21

    This must end, animals deserve rights, compassion and care

  8. lin badham
    lin badhamDecember 16,21

    Sick to death of the repulsive evil country which has no moral compass. I’s pure evil in every way !!!!

  9. Lawrence Carradine
    Lawrence CarradineDecember 16,21

    Dogs and cats are loving companion animals. The dog meat trade must stop.
    Let’s stop hurting and killing companion animals.
    We must have compassion for these beautiful animals.

  10. Jennifer Ann McDonough
    Jennifer Ann McDonoughDecember 16,21

    There is a soul in an animal and they have physical and mental feelings, just like humans. Once you realize the unconditional love from an animal, you will enter an entire, new and more loving world.

  11. Margaret Scott
    Margaret ScottDecember 16,21

    I’m appalled that good people in South Korea don’t band together to get this barbaric practice stopped. How can anyone condone this cruelty
    all involved are the filth of the Earth & should be exterminated in the same ways they kill these innocent dogs & cats.

  12. Sheila Glover
    Sheila GloverDecember 17,21

    People’s ‘basic rights’ can never extend to the right to abuse and most cruelly keep and kill animals and to do it in the most vile and filthy conditions imaginable. I hope that this consultation will also include the representations of people from abroad. If South Korea is to be regarded with respect and seen as a modern, forward thinking nation it needs to stop this backward and barbaric trade.

  13. Martha R Boltares
    Martha R BoltaresDecember 18,21

    Karma is happening around the world because of the evil worldwide dog and cat meat trade. Sentient beings have souls. Covid and Cancer are karma. South Korea and other dog and cat eating nation’s need to take this seriously..

  14. Anna Lowe
    Anna LoweJanuary 15,22

    When will we see an end to this torture and slaughter of innocent beings? China and SE Asian countries perpetrate the most vile acts towards sentient beings. These are loyal pets, not food!

  15. ulrich Stolarczyk
    ulrich StolarczykJanuary 24,22

    Protest-notes to the korean-government and industrial-companies, petitions – that is one step to stop the torture and brutality the animals have to suffer. Asia is far behind, brutal, horrible. So- protest is what we can do. Good people in Asia can help … We can donate.

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