The Korea Herald


Man faces animal cruelty charges for killing his dog for meat

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : June 14, 2024 - 12:51

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(Herald DB) (Herald DB)

South Korean police on Friday said a man in his 60s is being investigated for potential violation of the Animal Protection Act, as they believe he killed one of his dogs for meat.

The man, a resident of Jeju Island, is accused of butchering a dog that he owned at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday at his orchard, according to the Jeju Dongbu Police Station. A local animal rights group alerted police, but the dog had already been killed when officers arrived on the scene.

Officers at the scene found an ax and kitchen knife, thought to have been used to butcher the animal. Two other dogs the man owned have been temporarily placed in the custody of an animal rights group.

South Korea's Animal Protection Act bans killing an animal by a cruel method or without justifiable cause.

The man told police officials that he planned to make bosintang, a traditional Korean soup that uses dog meat as its primary ingredient.

Bosintang, which has long been the subject of controversy, is in a legal gray area in South Korea. Throughout Korean history, dogs have been considered livestock, like pigs and cows. Thus, the livestock law currently defines dogs within livestock.

But the Animal Protection Act, enacted in 1991, defines dogs as pets, leading to contradictory interpretations of the law from proponents and opponents of dog meat.

The government in January moved to resolve the contradiction by passing a bill that would outlaw the breeding and slaughtering of dogs for meat, along with the distribution and consumption of dog meat, to take effect in 2027.