Victory! South Korea Bans the Dog Meat Trade

Victory! South Korea Bans the Dog Meat Trade

In a historic win for animals, South Korea’s National Assembly voted unanimously this week to ban the dog meat trade! We thank everyone who has supported our decades-long work to see this happen, along with our rescue efforts to save innocent lives with our partner Jindo Love Rescue.

Even though most people don’t eat dog meat, it’s estimated that around 1 million dogs are still being raised and killed annually in South Korea where the industry has existed in a legal gray area for decades.  

The ban, which goes into effect in six months, will phase out the industry over three years and makes the breeding, slaughter, and sale of dogs and dog meat for human consumption illegal as of 2027. Anyone found guilty of slaughtering dogs for consumption will face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 30 million won, or about $22,800 USD. Anyone found guilty of breeding dogs for consumption, or distributing dog meat for consumption, will face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 20 million won, or about $15,200 USD.

In the meantime, those currently involved will be eligible for government support to help them close their businesses and transition into other livelihoods.

This monumental change serves as a testament to the power of advocacy, with the force supporting this ban increasing on both a national and international stage. In Defense of Animals has been partnering with Korean activists for over 30 years and we’re proud to have supported the Korean activists and lawmakers who worked tirelessly to make this happen, despite the dangers and pushback from the industry.

More than 17,000 In Defense of Animals supporters signed our latest alert urging the National Assembly to pass this legislation and were joined by Korean War veterans, Rep. Brad Sherman, and celebrities, including Katherine Heigl, Priscilla Presley, and Mena Suvari, who submitted statements of support, which can be seen in the video below, that were also delivered to the National Assembly.


Having worked directly on rescue efforts with our South Korean partner Jindo Love Rescue, we’ve seen firsthand the horrors this industry inflicts on innocent dogs who are raised in horrifying conditions before being slaughtered for their flesh, but we’ve also seen amazing outcomes for rescued dogs and an incredible amount of compassion for them.

Since partnering in 2017, we’ve helped more than 1,200 amazing dogs escape this fate and find quality, loving homes in the U.S. and Canada, and we’re going to continue this work during the phase-out period to help as many as we can.

You can support our rescue efforts by making a donation, spreading the word about our ongoing need for flight volunteers to courier dogs to new homes, and by adopting — you can find many available dogs on Jindo Love Rescue’s Facebook page.

We’ll also be continuing our efforts to end dog meat in countries where it still exists through our Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition, so stay tuned for more ways you can get involved at our Dog Meat campaign.