MEDIA RELEASE: Celebs, Korean War Vets & More Join to Support Dog Meat Ban in South Korea

MEDIA RELEASE: Celebs, Korean War Vets & More Join to Support Dog Meat Ban in South Korea

SEOUL (Nov. 22, 2023) In Defense of Animals’ Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition applauds members of South Korea’s National Assembly for pledging to support legislation to ban the dog meat trade by the end of the year. The coalition has gathered supportive statements from Korean War veterans, U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, and celebrities including Priscilla Presley, Mena Suvari and Katherine Heigl urging assembly members to pass a bill. 


On November 17, 2023, the People Power Party of South Korea proposed a Special Act to ban dog meat. Yu Eui-dong, a member of the Party in the National Assembly, stated: “We are planning to enact a Special Act to ban dog meat within this year to address this issue as soon as possible.”  The Special Act would allow for a three-year period to phase out the dog meat industry; if enacted this year, the phase out would be complete prior to 2027. The law will require businesses involved with dog meat, such as dog farms, dog butchers, traders, and restaurants, to submit a phaseout plan to local authorities and will provide financial support to those businesses. The People Power Party is the second largest party in the National Assembly and is the party of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

More than 17,000 people have signed In Defense of Animalsalert urging the National Assembly to pass the Special Act, which was introduced in June by Democratic Party Assembly Member Jeoung-ae Han with the same stipulations. It is now one of five bills that have been introduced by different parties.

“It’s beyond thrilling to see lawmakers in South Korea poised to end the suffering of countless dogs who would otherwise be brutally slaughtered for their meat. We have advocated for a dog meat ban for years and stand firmly with South Korean politicians, activists and rescuers who have worked tirelessly to see a ban go into effect and save innocent lives. For any politicians in doubt, we hope they will hear the heartfelt pleas from people who risked their lives for South Korea’s freedom as well as Priscilla Presley, Katherine Heigl and Mena Suvari,” said Fleur Dawes, Director of Communications and International Partnerships for In Defense of Animals.

“These Korean War Veterans, Anthony Melecca, Orville McKinney, Eugene Clifford Barker, and other members of the United States military who served in the Korean War, risked their lives to protect the Republic of Korea and the lives of South Koreans.  Many of their friends died to save the country.  In their video statements they sincerely ask the South Korean National Assembly to pass the Special Act to End Dog Meat and stop killing dogs.  I’m very proud to have worked with these heroes and given them a platform to directly express their strong feelings to the South Korean National Assembly,” said Jeffrey Mausner, a retired attorney who produced the video and is a co-founder of the Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition. “These Veterans, who fought for the lives and freedom of South Koreans, who are responsible for the very existence of democracy and the National Assembly itself, deserve to be listened to when they speak of their love for dogs and ask that the torture and killing stop.”

Priscilla Presley and Katherine Heigl expressed their support along with the Korean War veterans via video statement. 

“I commend your National Assembly for their progressive bill to ban dog meat… I ask that South Korea seize this opportunity to end the dog meat trade once and for all and put an end to the horrific daily slaughter of 3,000 dogs. Your willingness to move forward is being recognized by the entire world.” said Emmy award-winning actress, Katherine Heigl.

“As someone who, alongside my beloved late husband Elvis, always deeply cherished our dogs and strongly advocated for the well being of animals, it pains me deeply to witness the continued suffering and inhumane treatment of these innocent creatures within South Korea. So, if consideration for kindness was ever merited by an animal, they deserve more respect than to be killed to become food on our dinner table. This is why I strongly commend the introduction of a bill in the South Korean National Assembly to ban dog meat,” said famed actress and former wife of Elvis, Priscilla Presley.

Actress Mena Suvari said, “I implore all Members of the South Korean National Assembly to support the bill that will ban dog meat once and for all in South Korea. I stand with In Defense of Animals' Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition.”

Since partnering in 2017, In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue have saved more than 1,200 dogs from South Korea’s dog meat trade and flown them to forever homes in North America, and will continue to support rescue efforts until the dog meat trade is ended.


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Images & videos of dog meat survivors and rescues are available upon request. 

Contact: Fleur Dawes,, 415-879-6879

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of defending animals, their advocates, and the environment, through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, California, and rural Mississippi.

The Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition was formed by a collection of organizations and individuals united in our deep sense of urgency and unwavering determination to advocate for an end to the dog meat trade in countries where it still exists, with a focus on South Korea and China. Its members include Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ); In Defense of Animals, Jindo Love Rescue, Mercy for Chinese Dogs, Yoga Stops Yulin, The Puppy Coalition, Pawsitive Healing Yoga, Adrienne Hewitt and Jeffrey N. Mausner, a councilor, writer, retired attorney, law professor, and former federal prosecutor of the United States Department of Justice.


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