SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — The South Korean government is under fire from animal rights groups over a law requiring tall dogs to wear a muzzle.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Korean Animal Welfare Association branded the legislation forcing muzzles on dogs taller than 40 centimeters ‘unconstitutional’, after consulting scores of lawyers.
The government is facing calls to withdraw the muzzle requirement, as animal rights groups argue the latest move is in breach of the country’s animal protection law, which recommends safety measures such as a leash only when necessary.
“To judge a dog’s violent behavior solely by its height is not only irrational, but it also means all dogs apart from small-sized ones will be subject to the law, which violates the principle of proportionality,” the Korean Animal Welfare Association said.
Last month, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs introduced measures imposing a muzzle on dogs that either have previous experience of violent behavior, or those that are taller than 40 centimeters when standing.
Dog owners that fail to uphold the new requirement will face fines, while those who receive approval from experts can take taller dogs out in public without using a muzzle.