In a landmark move, South Korean parliamentarians have overwhelmingly approved a bill that criminalises the consumption and sale of dog meat, a practice deeply embedded in the nation's cultural history.
The bill, set to become law in 2027, signifies a significant shift towards animal welfare and reflects changing attitudes within the country.
According to online travel publication, Trek Zone, The consumption of dog meat has deep roots in South Korea, dating back centuries and often associated with cultural practices and medicinal beliefs. However, evolving societal values and increased awareness of animal rights have led to a shift in public opinion, challenging the continuation of this tradition.
The bill, passed by a resounding 208-0 vote in the National Assembly, awaits endorsement by the Cabinet Council and President Yoon Suk-yeol's signature, expected to be a mere formality.
President Yoon, known for adopting stray dogs and cats, has been a vocal advocate for animal welfare. His wife, Kim Keon-hee, has also criticised the practice, contributing to the groundswell of support for the ban.
Recent surveys indicate a notable decline in the consumption of dog meat, with the majority of South Koreans excluding it from their diets. The passing of this bill aligns with a broader cultural shift towards more compassionate treatment of animals, marking the end of a culinary tradition that has endured for centuries.
The ban on dog meat consumption in South Korea symbolises a pivotal moment in the nation's cultural evolution. As attitudes towards animal welfare continue to transform, this historic decision reflects the importance of compassion and ethical treatment of animals, setting the stage for a more humane future.