August 11, 2022 11:34
People who keep dangerous dog breeds will need a permit from their local authority from next April and must neuter their pets, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said Wednesday.
The move aims to protect others from fatal attacks as a result of dog owners' negligence. It comes after an unleashed dog mauled an eight-year-old boy in an apartment complex in Ulsan last month. The boy was rescued by a delivery man.
An alarming 2,197 fatal dog attacks occurred last year. The law categorizes five breeds as dangerous -- Tosa, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Rottweiler.
But local governments can also designate any other dogs as dangerous if they have attacked people or other animals.
Dog owners can register their animals with any city, county or municipal district across the country, no matter where they officially reside. They must buy liability insurance for dog attacks or bites and neuter their dogs so they cannot breed them commercially or sell puppies clandestinely.
Those who already have a dangerous dog must get the permit within six months after the law goes into effect, and violators face up to a year in jail or a fine of up to W10 million (US$1=W1,310).
Protection of animals will also be strengthened. From next year, anyone other than licensed butchers or hunters who abuses or kills animals faces up to three years in jail or a fine of up to W30 million, up from the current two years and W20 million.
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