For an advanced nation, South Korea still has very poor laws to protect the welfare of its animals.
However, Assemblyman Pyo Chang Won, chairman of the Animal Welfare Committee in the South Korean assembly wants to introduce stronger laws to provide animals with greater protection from the terrible abuse and endless cruelty they've suffered from for years. These laws include a three-point plan designed to impose stricter penalties on offenders.
The proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Law include significantly augmented penalties for breaches of existing law, greater transparency regarding what constitutes violations of the law, and allowing for the confiscation of animals deemed at risk by members of the public.
This development is being viewed by many as a precursor to the outright banning of the dog meat industry, in a country where between two and three million farmed dogs are killed and eaten each year.
Over 17,000 dog meat farms currently exist in South Korea, although in recent years the dog meat trade itself has become a blight on the social and economic status of the country.
John Dalley of the Soi Dog Foundation presented Assemblyman Pyo Chang-Won with a petition of over 450,000 signatures from over 230 countries supporting the proposed changes to legislation, and calling on the government to ban the dog meat trade.
Dalley said, “We will continue to work with South Korea’s Animal Welfare committee to see the Bill’s amendments brought into law, as well as continue public awareness and education campaigns to bring greater awareness to the inhumane dog meat industry here. South Korea is one of the world’s leading nations in virtually every field, including being voted the world’s most innovative country. Yet in one area it lags far behind, and that area is animal welfare. As Mahatma Gandhi once famously quoted “The greatness and moral progress of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Sadly, the image of Korea internationally is all too often tarnished by the cruelty and inhumanity shown by a small minority of its people, and thought of by many as an undeveloped nation as a result.”
Assemblyman Pyo Chang-Won is expected to present the proposed legislative changes to the Animal Welfare Law to the South Korean Assembly at the end of February 2017.
Images courtesy of Soi-Dog Foundation.