South Korea president hints at ban on dog meat

South Korea Dog Meat Farm
Image by Jean Chung for HSI

The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, has suggested banning the consumption of dog meat in the country, according to his spokesperson. The subject is believed to have been brought up during a meeting with the prime minister, Kim Boo-kyum.

Humane Society International/Korea (HSI/Korea), a charity at the forefront of the fight to phase out dog meat consumption in the country, has welcomed President Moon’s reported suggestion that “it could be time for South Korea to ban dog meat”.

President Moon first issued a Blue House pledge in 2018 to consider removing dogs from the legal definition of livestock following a 1 million signature petition submitted by HSI/Korea and partners KARA.

With only a small minority of Koreans consuming dog meat, the trade has seen a growing opposition within the country – particularly among younger generations.

HSI/Korea campaigner campaigner Nara Kim said, “As a Korean who has visited many dog meat farms and seen the appalling animal suffering first hand, I welcome these words from President Moon and hope that it signals the beginning of the end for the brutal dog meat industry.

“These dogs live a dreadful existence, locked in barren wire cages their whole lives, most in a pitiful state of malnutrition, skin disease and fear, only to be painfully electrocuted often in front of each other. It’s like a living nightmare for them, all to produce a meat that most Koreans don’t want to eat. Banning dog meat would be the right thing to do not just for the dogs but also for South Korea.”

She added, “HSI/Korea works with dog farmers who want to get out of this dead-end trade. Our program helps them transition to more humane livelihoods, and so we urge President Moon to advance a ban but also to adopt HSI’s farmer transition program to make sure the phase out happens with the backing of farmers so that it is sustainable and permanent – consigning the dog meat industry to the history books is within our grasp.”

Humane Society International/Korea runs a scheme in the country working in partnership with dog farmers, to help them leave the dog meat industry and transition to a more humane livelihood. Several farmers have left the industry thanks to this scheme, remarking that dog meat farming has “no future” in South Korea.

Images by HSI/Korea


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