South Korea is one step closer to outlawing the consumption of canines.
In a landmark decision, a South Korean court ruled that the killing of dogs for meat is illegal.
On Thursday, the city court in Bucheon reviewed a case brought by the animal rights group Care against a dog farm operator. Activists accused the man of killing animals without proper reasons and for violating building and hygiene regulations.
The man was convicted and fined 3m won (£2,050). Most noteworthy is that the court said meat consumption is not a legal reason to kill dogs.
Said Kim Kyung-eun, a lawyer for Care: “It is very significant in that it is the first court decision that killing dogs for dog meat is illegal itself.”She added that the precedent is paving the way for a total ban in South Korea.
Dog meat has been a part of South Korean cuisine since first century AD. Every year, approximately 1 million dogs are eaten in the country. But in recent years, the tradition has been challenged by animal rights activists and younger generations in the country.
To crack down on dog farms, as well as appease the public, authorities have invoked hygiene regulations and some animal protection laws.
There is still no specific ban against the consumption of canines, though.
According to a survey conducted last year, approximately 70 percent of South Koreans do not eat dog mean.
Yet surprisingly, only 40 percent believe the practice should be banned.
To put an end to the practice, Care has vowed to track down dog farms and slaughterhouses and file similar complaints against them to the authorities.
“The dog meat industry will take greater heat because of the court ruling,” said the organization’s leader, Park So-Youn.