SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — Aggressive dogs will be required to wear a leash and a muzzle in public places under a revised animal protection law, officials said Saturday, in a move to address concerns over a rising number of dog bite incidents.
A parliamentary committee passed the animal bill revision Friday, although it needs final approval at a plenary session later this month.
Legislative attempts to strengthen punishment for negligent dog owners have gained steam in recent months after a fatal dog bite involving a K-pop star and a famous business woman sparked calls for better control of potentially dangerous dogs.
The bill requires owners of aggressive dog breeds to use a leash and a muzzle in public spaces and bans such animals from entering daycare centers and elementary schools.
If dogs that are not leashed carry out fatal attacks, their owners will be subject to up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of 30 million won (US$27,650).
The bill also allows mayors and provincial governors to keep vicious dogs in isolation without owners’ consent if they cause injuries to people.
The latest move comes as growing number of people have been involved in dog attacks in recent years.
A total of 1,019 dog bite accidents occurred last year, quadruple the 245 cases reported in 2011, according to the Korea Consumer Agency.