Discussions of ending dog meat consumption are spinning wheel due to the difference in how long they will allow the industry to continue — 8 or 15 years. Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs withhold conclusions.
‘The Consultative Discussion Committee on Ending Dog Meat Consumption,’ the general discussion body of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Despite the first extension from the end of April to the end of June, the committee could not come to an agreement, so they just decided to extend it again.
A plenary meeting will be held on the 29th to finalize the second extension period.
Deadlock over how long the dog meat industry will be allowed to continue. The changes in committee members also impacted the stalemate.
The media interview with Kim Keon-hee, the spouse of President Yoon Suk-yeol, who advocated for an end to dog eating, is attracting attention through various foreign media outlets. However, ‘The Consultative Discussion Committee on Ending Dog Meat Consumption,’ led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, is accomplishing nothing. Instead of acting decisively, they decided to extend the committee’s operation yet again while failing to meet the original goal of reaching an agreement by June on how to end dog meat consumption. Moving forward in the direction of ending dog meat consumption, the stakeholders are unable to compromise on when it will finally end.
As the social debate over the ending of dog eating is increasing due to the interview with Ms. Kim Keon-hee, more attention is shifting to the conclusion of the committee. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, on June 26th, the committee, which was scheduled to operate until the end of June, did not expect to reach an agreement and decided to extend the discussion through a plenary meeting on the 29th.
The committee comprises 21 people, including animal protection groups, representatives from the dog meat industry, experts, and government officials. It was initially formed in December to discuss the issue of dog meat consumption and was scheduled to conclude by April. However, an agreement could not be reached, and the committee operation period was initially extended for two more months until the end of June but was just delayed again.
An official from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said, “The subcommittee meetings have been held twice during the two-month extension period, and the first general meeting is coming up…. as the disagreement between the dog meat industry (dog farmers) and animal protection groups regarding the method of ending the dog meat industry could not be narrowed, it was inevitably decided to extend the operation of the committee.”
“Give us a 15-years to continue the dog meat industry.” VS “That is too long.”
When deciding to extend the operation of the committee in early May, the committee justified their decision by saying, “there was a consensus in the perception that the ending the dog meat consumption is a trend of the times, but an agreement has not been reached yet.” According to officials, there has been a backlash against the committee due to its inability to make progress after two months.
Although the industry’s opposition to ending dog meat consumption has subsided, and the focus of the discussion has shifted from “if” to “when,” each stakeholder’s position on this is sharply divided. The representatives from the dog meat industry are asking to continue their operations for an additional 15 years. They are requesting that the protection of their dog meat business should be guaranteed during that period. They are also arguing that there should be compensation from the government for the gradual demolition of facilities. They claim that it’s a matter of survival.
However, animal protection groups argue that 15 years is far too long, and it is necessary to end it as soon as possible. They argued that if the dog meat industry inevitably needs time, the deadline should be around 2030, 8 years from now. They are also opposed to government compensation related to ending this industry.
Moreover, it was found that the change in the members participating in the committee also played a role in the inability of the committee to reach a decision. They said that the pending term expirations of various representatives and the replacement process often prevented meaningful discussions. However, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs would not comment on specific committee members due to the sensitivity of this issue.
An official from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said, “Some criticize whether the first extension period of two months was too short,” and “for this reason, there is an opinion that the second extension period should be longer so that sufficient discussion can take place.”
‘Will the survey result that 93% of Koreans perceive negatively about dog meat consumption speed up the agreement?
A recent survey shows that the general population has a negative perception of dog meat consumption. According to the survey conducted by a team led by Professor Cheon Myung-sun of the Department of Veterinary Humanities and Social Sciences at Seoul National University this year, a survey of 1,000 adults nationwide this past April revealed that 64% of respondents said that “dog consumption should be banned by law.”
In addition, 93% of the respondents answered that “the social perception of dog meat consumption is negative.” 22% of the respondents said they had eaten dog meat in the past 10 years, most of whom were in their 60s or older. Only 13% of the respondents said they would eat dog meat in the future.
However, even though the official statistics have been compiled, they have not yet been released. In the absence of statistical data on dogs for meat purposes, the committee announced that it conducted a public survey on the status of dog breeding for meat purposes. However, they have not yet released the investigation results, stating, “publishing the results of the investigation may cause chaos.
Since the issue of prohibiting dog meat consumption is supported by the Korean government, more attention is paid to the committee’s conclusion, which will continue to be discussed in the future. President Yoon Seok-yeol has pledged to ban dog eating since his candidacy. He included the national task of “creating a healthy companion animal culture where people and animals are happy together.” The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeong Hwang-geun agreed with this direction and said, “Once an agreement is reached through the committee, we will pursue follow-up measures such as revision of related laws.”
Recently, Kim Keon-hee, the spouse of President Yoon, has drawn attention overseas as she advocated an end to dog meat consumption. In an interview with a media outlet, Kim said, “Among countries of major economies, only Korea and China eat dogs” and “Ultimately, not eating dogs is an expression of respect for the human’s closest friends and respect for life.”
The media in countries such as the UK and Singapore highlighted these remarks and the controversy over dog meat consumption in Korea. Singapore’s daily news, The Straits Times, reported that Ms. Kim is “the public figure who recently objected to the controversial dog meat consumption in Korea.”