Agriculturists oppose dog-eating prohibition plot


(MENAFN) In a dramatic demonstration of opposition, hundreds of dog meat farmers in South Korea took to the streets of Seoul to protest a proposed ban on their livelihood, leading to clashes with police and resulting in three arrests, according to organizers. The farmers, donned in matching red vests, were captured on social media chanting slogans, singing, and delivering impassioned speeches against the impending prohibition.

The proposed ban, championed by First Lady Kim Keon Hee, aims to phase out the controversial dog meat industry entirely by 2027. The legislation promises compensation to affected meat farmers for the loss of their businesses, coupled with vocational training opportunities to facilitate their transition into alternative industries. However, the contentious nature of the ban has triggered a wave of dissent among the very individuals it seeks to impact.

Videos shared on social media depict farmers allegedly bringing dogs in cages with the intention of releasing them in front of the presidential office. In response, the police, aware of the potential scenario, set up barricades to prevent the release of animals and to maintain public safety.

Ju Yeongbong, an organizer of the rally and the head of a dog meat farmers' trade group, expressed frustration, stating that the government had completely excluded them from negotiations regarding the proposed ban. Farmers are demanding direct compensation for relinquishing their animals and are seeking additional time to wind down their operations.

According to Ju, the meager compensation offered is deemed insufficient for the loss of their livelihoods, and the offer of vocational training is considered irrelevant, particularly given that many workers in the dog meat industry are in their 60s and 70s, looking towards retirement rather than new occupations.

Ju emphasized that, since the younger generation in Korea tends to abstain from consuming dog meat, the practice is expected to naturally fade away in the next 15 to 20 years. The dog meat farmers argue that more consideration and dialogue are needed to address their concerns adequately, highlighting the need for a balanced approach that respects their livelihoods while addressing societal shifts in preferences. As the debate continues, the clash between tradition and evolving cultural attitudes remains at the forefront of this heated issue in South Korea.

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