Gov’t to set 5-year plan on animal welfare

SEOUL, South Korea's agriculture ministry said Wednesday it is drawing up a five-year plan on improving the welfare of animals in the country, which will focus on adopting tougher regulations against animal cruelty and providing them with a better living environment.

Under the 2020-2024 plan which is anticipated to be announced in December, the South Korean government will revise animal-related regulations in different areas from raising pets to carrying out animal tests, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Among others, the government said it will redefine the scope of actions that can be considered as animal cruelty.

When implemented, abandoning pets also will be considered an abusive action and violators will face stronger punishment.

Any maltreatment that leads to the death of animals may be punishable with a jail term of three years or a fine of 30 million won (US$25,638), up from the current ceiling of two years and 20 million won.

Animal abusers may also be banned from owning pets in the future, it added.

The government will consider making it mandatory for animal sellers to register them before making sales. Breeding farms will be required to provide better living conditions for animals in terms of the size of cages and the number of employees.

The master plan will set standards and regulations for emerging related industries, such as cremation service providers and pet sitters as well.

The government will also prepare guidelines to cope with stray animals, including making shelters for pets in case of disasters.

Other measures include setting rules for making it mandatory for research labs to keep track of test animals and apply stronger regulations on using them for experiments.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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