Saturday, March 26, 2011

3/25/11 Dog Safety

Since we began to explore the possibility of moving to Korea, we have planned to take our companion animals, Quinn the cat and Friday the dog. Naturally, many of our friends have been concerned because dog is eaten in Korea, and we were worried as well. I've done a bit of research - here are some of my findings:

  • The selling of dog meat has been outlawed in Seoul since 1984.
  • "South Korean Food Sanitary Law" (식품위생법) does not allow dog meat as a legal food ingredient.
  • The Seoul Metropolitan Government has declared dog meat a "repugnant food," and does not permit it to be used as an ingredient in any food.
Unfortunately, the laws mentioned above are often ignored and some portion of the Korean population still eats dog meat, primarily in the summer months. The types of dogs slaughtered for meat are called the Nurengi (누렁이), or Hwangu (황구). They are basically larger mixed breed dogs, mostly yellow in color. Koreans seem to make a distinction between these meat dogs and the pedigreed pet dogs they keep in their homes.

The group Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) is a vocal opponent of dog meat, and they seem to have the support of a decent pecentage of the population. The general consensus is that between 5% and 30% of Koreans have tried dog meat, and that a very small percentage eat it regulaly. Attitudes are changing; the Korean Ministry of Agriculture conducted a survey recently and found that 59% of Koreans under 30 would not eat dog, and 62% regard dogs as pets, not food. Many young Koreans see eating dog as an anachronism, and Korean Buddhists are opposed to dog meat as well.

Although we plan to take precautions and be vigilant with Friday, I feel that her small size, pedigreed appearance, and status as a house pet will make it unlikely that she is in much danger. 


  1. That is good news! So, I just started following your blog, I know LAME. I will do better. Hugs to you both and Friday!

  2. Better late than never, G. :)