SEOUL, Jul. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — A recent decision by an Incheon district court has attracted considerable attention for its role in clearing a dog meat farm owner of criminal conduct for slaughtering dogs using an electric prod.
According to Section 8 of the Animal Protection Act, any cruel method of slaughtering animals – such as death by strangulation – is declared a crime. If found guilty, a fine of up to 10 million won or a prison sentence of up to one year can be handed out.
Allegedly, the owner of the farm electrocuted up to 30 dogs by sticking the dogs’ faces with an electric prod.
The owner defended himself throughout the trial, saying, “Killing livestock by electrocution is a common and accepted form of butchery in the industry. Pigs and chickens are also slaughtered by electrocution, and it is actually a humane way of killing them as they lose consciousness and don’t feel pain.”
In accordance with public health controls, a limited number of animals such as turkeys and ducks are permitted to be butchered by electrocution.
Though dogs are not considered as livestock under the Animal Protection Act, under the deliberations of the court the dogs that were butchered were considered as livestock animals due to the purpose of their slaughter as food production.
“Beyond the one example of death by strangulation, there are no other explicit examples outlined in the Animal Protection Act. There are no clearly defined parameters of what ‘cruel methods of slaughter’ might entail. Furthermore, the mere act of slaughtering can be considered ‘cruel’ and setting arbitrary boundaries on what is or is not cruel can lead down a slippery slope,” said the in explaining its ruling.
The court added, “Based on the evidence submitted by the prosecution, it is difficult to make the case that the accused utilized cruel and inhumane methods of butchering the animals. In addition, without knowing exactly the levels of electric current employed in the electrocution and the duration that the animals in question were electrocuted, the court finds it difficult to uphold the prosecution’s case.”
by Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)