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Legal Responsibilities of Pet Owners

Legal Responsibilities of ...

The Korean Animal Protection Law sets out rules regarding pet owner responsibility and animal cruelty. An English version of the law can be found on the KARA (Korean Animal Rights Advocates) website

Identification Tags for dog: This rule was adopted in January 08 but the public was given a one-year grace period before fines would be imposed. The new rule requires that dog owners ensure that their dogs have name tags that include the owner's name, address and phone number. Pet dogs found outside, even on a leash, wtihout nametags could earn their owner a W200,000 fine.

Registering dogs with local government: The new regulations also required that dogs be registered with the local government as a means of reducing the number of abandoned pets. Check with your vet to find out how to go about getting the registration done. Although the government originally indicated there would be a fine of W300,000 for failure to register, the process has been purely voluntary. In June 2011, the National Assembly voted on amendments to the Animal Protection Laws including one that will require dog owners to register their ownership with their local governments from 2013, with an extension of the implementation delay to 01 July 2014.
As of that date all dogs 3 month old and over must be registered. This can be done at your local vet or animal hospital. Failure to do so can result in a fine. First offenders will get a warning, but the second offense to result in a W200,000 fine, to a maximum of W400,000 for additional offenses.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags/chips will be mandatory as of April 2009. Local governments are conducting some limited tagging programs now. The RFID chips are 8mm long and 2mm in diameter. They contain general information about the animal, as well as its owners name and contact details, and should be injected into your pet’s skin by a veterinarian. FYI: The RFID tag systems is the responsibility of the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (ATS), which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy.

Tag Regulation in Seoul: In November 2008, the media reported that the Seoul Metropolitan Government had issued an ordinance that requires dog owners to attach a 15-digit ID tag to their animals. The electronic ID can either be implanted into the back of the dog's neck (W8,000) or worn as an electronic collar (W15,000) and must be put on at a pet shop or animal hospital between 1 and 31 January 2010. From 15 February on, owners without an electronic identification tag on their pet can be fined up to W100,000. . (Note:as of mid 2012, this program does not yet appear to be in fulll implementation)

Leash regulations: Dogs must be on a leash when in public places. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to W100,000.

Poop & Scoop rules have also been adopted. Owners who do not clean up after their pets are liable to a fine of up to W100,000.

Enforcement: If one sees a dog off-leash or an owner who fail to scoop, to report the violation one apparently must provide the authorities with the owner's name, address and other ID information.

Korean Animal Protection Act - some sections of interest to pet owners
1. The Mayor or Governor of a capital city, metropolitan cities, or province, respectively (Mayor, Governor hereafter), can make ASR owners register her/his animal with the Mayor, County Magistrate or District Chief (Mayor, County Magistrate hereafter) within their jurisdiction when deemed necessary for ASR protection and the prevention of ASR abandonment. However, if the ASR is being raised at a certain facility chosen by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries and not at an owner’s address, registering can be done with the Mayor or Governor of the area where the facility is located.

4.The animal’s Owner or Caretaker who is moving an animal out of the area in which it has been raised must attach an identification tag on the animal under the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, and any animal without an identification tag will be considered abandoned.
5. When the animal’s Owner or Caretaker is going out with an ASR, he or she must take safety precautions according to the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, such as putting on a leash, and any excretions by the animal must be collected by the Owner or Caretaker

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Last Updated on 2014-03-13

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