The 28-year-old culprit said he wanted to adopt the animal. Although he expressed remorse, for the court, the act was a cruel crime. Animal welfare awareness is rising in the country, but eating dog meat is still widespread. Some 8,500 abandoned dogs are found in the capital every year. The transport and transformation facilities for waste are limited.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A South Korean court sentenced a 28-year-old man to eight months in prison Wednesday for the brutal killing of a lost dog.
The man, surnamed Jeong, was tried and convicted on charges of breaching animal protection law. Prosecutors had earlier demanded an 18-month jail term for him.
"The method of the crime was very cruel and showed (Jeong's) contempt toward life. There is also substantial room for criticism regarding the motive of the crime," said the judge at the Seoul Western District Court.
Jeong, who worked at a local fried chicken restaurant, expressed remorse for what he did. During the trial, he tried to justify his action by saying that he actually wanted to adopt the animal, but faced with its resistance to become his "faithful friend", he lost patience and hit him repeatedly.
Last October, Seoul was declared free of dog slaughterhouses after the last three meat shops agreed to Mayor Park Won-soon’s request they stop killing dogs for food.
However, despite campaigners by activists, 8,500 dogs are abandoned in the city every year, and many are euthanised because animal shelters are either unable to keep them or they cannot be adopted.
In recent years, awareness of animal welfare has increased in South Korea. The country, like others in Asia, is famous for having dog meat, called Gaegogi, as part of its gastronomy.
The meat, considered a tasty delicacy in stews and broth, has been consumed as far back as the 1st century AD.