The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister Kim Hyeon-Soo, MAFRA) announced that the fully revised Animal Protection Act will be promulgated on 26 April 2022.
The revised Act will take effect on 27 April 2023, one year after the promulgation following the revision of its subordinate statute. Some regulations under the Act will become effective as of 27 April 2024, two years after the promulgation, given the time necessary for the changes.
Major changes to be implemented as of 27 April 2023 are as follows.
First, abusive acts leading to death of a pet, in violation of the duty of raising, management, such as providing a minimum space and feeds for raising such animal will be added to the cases of cruelty to animals under the Act.
* A person who has violated it shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding KRW 30 million.
Second, the reporting system of private animal protection facilities will be introduced. To be specific, those who wish to operate a facility over a certain size to temporarily protect lost, abandoned, or abused animals shall report to the competent local authority and comply with the relevant standards of operation and facilities.
Third, local governments will be able to take over the animal if the owner renounces his or her ownership. However, in order to prevent the reckless requests for takeovers, they are open to only limited cases including long-term hospitalization and military services.
Fourth, an animal testing institution over a certain size shall have a veterinarian dedicated to promoting health and welfare of its laboratory animals. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) will strengthen* deliberation on, instruction in, and supervision over, animal testing.
* If an animal testing is conducted without the IACUC’s deliberation, the IACUC may demand the suspension of the animal testing.
Fifth, in order to establish a sound business order related to pets, the previous registration system for animal import business, animal selling business, and animal funeral service business will be changed to a licensing system. The level of punishment for unlicensed and unregistered businesses will be strengthened as well.
*(Licensing required) animal breeding business, animal import business, animal selling business, and animal funeral service business (Registration required) animal exhibition business, animal boarding business, animal grooming business and animal transport business
** A person who has violated it shall be punished by a fine not exceeding KRW 5 million --> (Unlicensed) by imprisonment with labor for not more than two years or by a fine not exceeding KRW 20 million (Unregistered) by imprisonment with labor for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding KRW 10 million
A person who has his or her animal import business, animal selling business, or animal funeral service business registered pursuant to the previous provisions shall be deemed to have obtained permission under the amended provisions of the revised Act: Provided, that such person shall meet the requirements for the facilities and human-resources in accordance with the revised subordinate statute within one year from the enforcement date of the revised Act (27 April 2023).
Major changes to be implemented as of 27 April 2024 are as follows.
First, a person who intends to raise a dangerous dog shall obtain permission from the Metropolitan City Mayor or Province Governor by meeting the requirements such as registration of the animal, liability insurance and neutering. Whether to grant permission or not will be determined based on the evaluation on the dog’s aggressiveness. A person who already has a dangerous dog shall obtain permission within 6 months from the date this Act enters into force (27 April 2024).
*Japanese Mastiff (Tosa), American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler and their hybrids.
In addition, if a dog not categorized as the dangerous dog inflicts any damage to any person or animal, Metropolitan City Mayor or Province Governor can order to carry out the aggressiveness evaluation. Based on the results, the dog can be classified as a dangerous dog. In this case, the owner of the dog shall obtain permission from the local government.
Second, a national certification for animal training and behavior professionals will be newly established. Accordingly, a person with knowledge and skills specialized in behavior analysis, evaluation, and training of pets will be able to obtain national qualifications through testing, etc. The detailed plan including test subjects and passing standards will be determined during the revision process of the Act’s subordinate statute.
Third, the revised Act will include the legal basis for entrusting certification work to external professional organizations in order to enhance the Certification of Animal Welfare Livestock Farms and promote active participation. Also, the validity period (three years) and renewal system of the certification will be newly introduced. There will be a separate provision for transitional measures ranging from 2 to 4 years as for the validity period of the Animal Welfare Livestock Farms certified under the previous Act.
Director General Kim Won-il of Agro-Bioindustry Policy Bureau from MAFRA said that “We will take follow-up measures such as revision of the Act’s subordinate statute in a timely manner so that the full revision of the Animal Protection Act can meet the expectation of the public on animal protection and welfare system.”