South Korea passes law banning dog meat trade

South Korean lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday banning the consumption and sale of dog meat, in a move cheered by animal welfare groups.

“This is history in the making,” JungAh Chae, executive director of Humane Society International Korea, said in a statement.

“I never thought I would see in my lifetime a ban on the cruel dog meat industry in South Korea, but this historic win for animals is testament to the passion and determination of our animal protection movement,” she added.

The centuries-old practice of eating dog meat has been fading in South Korea, though some older people especially still believe it provides health benefits during the hot summer. Up to 1 million dogs are farmed and killed in South Korea each year for human consumption, according to Humane Society International Korea.

The tradition stemmed in part from the needs of ordinary people with limited access to beef and other meat, and advocates of the ban had argued there was no longer any need to consume dog meat since South Korea is now an affluent society with the world’s 13th-biggest economy.