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Ruling party reaffirms its support for 'Kim Keon Hee Law'

Sept. 13, 2023 - 16:39 By Cho Min-jeong
Kim Keon Hee attends a ceremony at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on March 7 with the Korea Disaster Relief Team who returned from Turkey after helping with post-quake relief efforts. (Presidential office)

The ruling People Power Party on Wednesday confirmed that it will continue to pursue a ban on the consumption of dog meat through the so-called "Kim Keon Hee Law," named after the president's wife, who is an active animal welfare advocate.

In a social media post, Rep. Park Dae-chul of the conservative People Power Party, rejected media reports that claimed the party had decided not to pursue the law.

He further expressed his hope for thorough discussions during the parliamentary bill review process and for collaborative efforts from opposition lawmakers to pass the law, emphasizing that "(we are in) an era of 10 million companion animals" and it is "time to end the consumption of dogs."

He also added the hashtags "#KimKeonHeeLaw," "#BanDogConsumption," and "#NoToConsumption" at the bottom of his message.

This bill gained momentum after first lady Kim Keon Hee mentioned during a private luncheon with animal protection organization members in April that she would strive to end the consumption of dogs within her term.

Local internet users have responded with various reactions to the Kim Keon Hee Law.

One netizen said, "Why call it the Kim Keon Hee Law when it is about banning dog meat consumption? Is Kim Keon Hee the only one against dog meat consumption? Many groups and individuals have opposed it for a long time." While supporting the bill itself, they questioned the name of the law.

Another said, "I don't eat dogs, but if we're ending dog meat consumption, shouldn't we also end the consumption of pork, beef, and chicken? Why single out dogs as pets while allowing the slaughter of other animals?"

The perception that certain animals are valued as pets while others are raised for food has led to discussions about ethical and hygienic aspects of animal consumption.

The debate surrounding the Kim Keon Hee Law isn't solely about whether to allow or ban dog consumption but also encompasses broader discussions about animal welfare and cultural perspectives on meat consumption.

First lady Kim Keon Hee is seen in front of the presidential residence in Seocho-gu, Seoul, May 11. (Presidential office)