MEDIA RELEASE: South Korean Lawmakers Applauded for Historic Ban of Country’s Dog Meat Trade
SEOUL (Jan. 8, 2024) — In Defense of Animals’ Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition applauds members of the South Korean National Assembly for passing legislation to ban the dog meat trade.
“South Korea’s dog meat ban is a dream come true. We are overjoyed by this change and thank lawmakers and local activists who have worked tirelessly to see this become a reality despite the dangers and pushback,” said Fleur Dawes, Director of Communications and International Partnerships for In Defense of Animals. “Countless dogs will now be spared a horrifying death in the dog meat trade. During the phaseout period, we will continue our vital work to save as many innocent lives as we can.”
Since partnering in 2017, In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue have saved more than 1,200 dogs from the meat trade and flown them to forever homes in North America. In 2023, the Global-Anti Dog Meat Coalition was formed to support banning the dog meat trade where it exists and has focused on supporting this legislation in South Korea.
It’s estimated that around 1 million dogs are still being raised and killed for dog meat annually in South Korea. In November 2023, the People Power Party proposed a Special Act to ban dog meat, which became one of multiple bills introduced since last summer. It would allow for a three-year period to phase out the industry and require businesses involved, such as dog farms, butchers, traders, and restaurants, to register their businesses with local authorities to receive financial support.
In December 2023, the Agriculture, Food, Rural Affairs, Oceans, and Fisheries Committee of the Korean National Assembly passed the Special Bill on the Breeding, Slaughter, and Distribution of Dogs for Consumption and Ending Dog Meat Consumption.
On January 8, the Legislation and Judiciary Committee voted to pass the bill. On January 9, the National Assembly passed the ban with 99% of assemblymembers voting in favor.
“I’m ecstatic the National Assembly has finally taken a stand against the dog meat trade,” said Patti Kim, President of Jindo Love Rescue. “We work around the clock to save dogs from becoming victims of the meat trade and seeing them live life to the fullest in their forever homes makes it all worthwhile, but we can only do so much and there are so many dogs in need. This long-overdue ban is going to change the future for so many dogs for the better in South Korea.”
In Defense of Animals has worked to end the dog meat trade in South Korea for over 30 years. More than 17,000 people signed In Defense of Animals’ latest alert urging the National Assembly to pass the Special Act, and were supported by Korean War veterans, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA 32nd District), celebrities, including Katherine Heigl, Priscilla Presley and Mena Suvari, who submitted statements of support that were also delivered to the National Assembly.
WATCH THE VIDEO: https://idausa.org/skvetvid
Jeffrey Mausner, who produced and directed the anti-dog meat video for the National Assembly and is a co-founder of the Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition, said that he was overjoyed with the result. Mausner stated: “It is a cultural sea change in South Korea. It will prevent the torture and death of millions of dogs. It will serve as an example to other countries that still allow dog meat – China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and others. Thank you to South Korea for taking this humane action.”
Mausner congratulated and thanked the many people and organizations who have been working to end the dog meat trade, the activists and rescue organizations in South Korea, Members of the South Korean National Assembly who sponsored and voted for the bill to ban dog meat, the Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition, In Defense of Animals, Humane Society International, and many others. “It’s been a long and difficult process, but we owed it to the dogs of South Korea. Dogs truly are people’s best friends,” he added.
### NOTES ###
Of 210 assemblymembers present at the vote, 208 voted in favor, 2 abstained.
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.
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. www.idausa.org/dogmeat
Images & videos of dog meat survivors and rescues available free for use with credit to In Defense of Animals/Jindo Love Rescue: https://bit.ly/IDA-JLR-dog-pix
Fleur Dawes, [email protected], 415-879-6879
Rick Scott, [email protected], 310-714-0248
### ENDS ###