SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Cases involving brutal violence and abuse of pets such as dogs and cats are continuing unabated.
Although public calls for stern punishment have been aroused and legislation is strengthened whenever shocking cases are reported, critics say that actual punishments meted out are still insignificant.
Seoul’s Mapo Police Station recently sent a suspect booked for killing a puppy to the prosecution and requested an indictment.
The abuser is suspected of taking his companion animal’s life and abandoning the corpse after finding his pet dog that disappeared last month while taking a walk.
In July, a man in his 30s caught and killed a cat. He has been charged with violating the Animal Protection Act and is currently standing trial.
According to the National Police Agency, the number of people who have been booked for violating animal protection laws and sent to the prosecution for indictment has steadily increased from 262 in 2013 to 592 in 2018.
Current animal abuse offenders face up to two years in prison or up to 20 million won (US$17,230) in fines.
However, most of the actual suspects are fined or given suspended sentences, with some pointing out that current enforcement is simply ineffective.
Lawyer Kwon Yoo-rim said, “Current animal protection laws were tightened once in 2017 and although the level of punishment is not that low, the sentences given are not consistent with the stricter punishment rule of the law.”
Some point out that the structure should be changed so that no one can easily buy animals and throw them away like an inanimate object.
“We need to take a step further from the registration system for pets and make it impossible to buy animals or throw them away by introducing a resume for pets,” said Lim Young-ki, head of the Animal Rescue 119.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)