Imports of cats, dogs double in 2 yrs amid pandemic-driven stay-at-home mode: data

INCHEON-- South Korea has imported twice as many cats and dogs this year compared with two years ago as people spend more time at home amid the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, customs data showed Wednesday.

According to the data by the regional customs office in Incheon, a main gateway for trade located about 40 kilometers west of Seoul, the number of cats and dogs brought in to the country via air carriers reached 10,241 in the January-August period this year, including 7,961 canines and 2,280 felines.

The combined figure marked a twofold increase from the imports of 5,222 cats and dogs in the same period in 2019, a time before the breakout of the pandemic. It consisted of 4,165 dogs and 1,057 cats.

The latest number was also about 10 percent more than what the country imported over the same period last year at 9,270 cats and dogs.

The customs office said the hike is largely attributable to the pandemic-era social distancing mandates and the expansion of working from home that made more people stay at home.

A separate report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs also showed over 6.3 million households were raising pets as of October, up 470,000 from a year earlier. It estimated the country has 8.6 million pet dogs and cats in total.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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