That animal that you’re so frightened of because of its appearance, but after a short time, you realize that the
The policy network Next Bridge is a network of researchers and policy experts centered on the post-386 generation (those who went to university in the 90s) who are working on visions and policy issues in the face of the era of transition, including the knowledge economy, climate, digitalization, and post-democracy. Next Bridge agrees that democracy and social development in post-industrial and post-democratic Korea is possible only if the people, who are sovereign, have a high understanding of social orientation and policy issues. Policy experts from various fields write weekly policy columns with policy issues in their fields, hoping to communicate with the public for policy discourse. <Editor’s note
In 2021, the Ministry of Justice pushed to amend the Civil Code to “dematerialize” animals, whose legal status has been limited to objects. In October of the same year, the government proposed a bill to amend some parts of the Civil Code to create Article 98.2, which declares that “animals are not objects”.
While there are many factors behind the push to revise the Civil Code, the main reason was the Ministry of Justice’s implementation of the “Sagaongilga” (one-person households for social coexistence) TF, which led to the judgment that the pet population (people with pets) was increasing along with the number of one-person households, and that it was necessary to fundamentally improve the legal status of animals.
In fact, the number of single-person households in Korea is increasing rapidly, as well as the number of people living with pets. According to the National Awareness Survey on Animal Protection conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the Ministry), the proportion of households with pets is 25.4% of all households as of 2022, amounting to 6.02 million households.
Conflicts over pets
When walking pets, people may not properly dispose of their feces, causing visual and olfactory discomfort.
As the number of pets in our society increases, the number of people who recognize pets as family members rather than just animals is also increasing rapidly, but unfortunately, social conflicts surrounding pets are also growing.
For example, in apartments and houses where pet owners and non-pet owners live together, conflicts often arise over pet noise. In addition, pet owners may not properly dispose of feces when walking their pets, causing visual and olfactory discomfort.
According to the 2014-2019 interfloor noise complaints received by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, except for “running or walking noise,” which accounted for more than half of the complaints, “hammering, dragging furniture, opening and closing doors” (8.2%), “using musical instruments, sports equipment, and appliances” (5.2%), “barking pets” (4.4%), and “using kitchens and toilets” (1.8%) are the most common types of noise complaints.
There are also accidents where pets bite people or bite other people’s pets while walking or going out with pets. According to statistics from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, there were 11,052 dog bite incidents in the five years from 2016 to 2020, with a steady increase of more than 2,000 every year.
It’s not just about conflicts with other people. If you have a family member who has a pet and another who doesn’t, there can be conflicts within the household as well. For example먹튀검증, a pet can make other family members uncomfortable with odors, shedding, and other issues, and it can also cause problems when parents, siblings, and children are responsible for taking care of the pet, such as walking it.
People aren’t the only ones affected by these conflicts. In April 2022, in a vacant lot in Nam-gu, Busan, a man saw the victim walking his dog and approached him for no reason, kicked the dog, and when he heard “What are you doing?” from the victim, he slapped the victim’s head and face with his hand, pulled his hair, and assaulted him (Busan District Court, Eastern Division, October 20, 2022, sentence 2022 Goban 824).
In addition, in July 2019, in Wonju, Gangwon-do, a man approached a dog tied to a leash because a dog in a neighboring building was barking, and stabbed the dog several times in the mouth with a fan he had in his possession, causing the dog to bleed from the mouth (Chuncheon District Court Wonju Support 2020.2.6 Sentence 2019 fixed 303).
A large part of the reason for this deepening divide between pets and non-pets seems to be the difference in perspective between pet owners and non-pets. According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s ‘2022 National Awareness Survey on Animal Protection’, 83.1% of pet owners said they were following the rules for wearing a leash, collar, and identification tag when going out with their dogs and picking up after them, while only 33.6% of non-pet owners agreed.
In a survey conducted by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), about 80% of pet owners said that their pets were following the main etiquette (pet etiquette), while only about 30% of non-pet owners thought that their pets were following the etiquette, confirming the difference in perception.
In addition, when it comes to dog-related conflicts, pet owners pointed out ‘non-pet owners’ behavior and perception’ as the biggest problem, while non-pet owners pointed out ‘pet hygiene and noise’.
Selling a pet unprepared
It’s hard to pinpoint a single cause of problems or conflicts surrounding pets, but it’s safe to say that one of the biggest causes is unpreparedness.
In a survey conducted by Animal Welfare Issues Research Institute AWARE from October 28 to November 2 last year, when asked how they got their pets, 38.2% of respondents said they got their pets for free from friends, followed by 24.1% who bought them from pet stores.
About a third of the respondents said that they got their pets for free from friends, but there is no set procedure in this case, and it is treated as a simple transaction between two people. In the case of purchasing an animal from a pet shop, the animal must be shown in person, and the current Animal Protection Act requires the seller to inform the buyer of the animal’s habits, characteristics, and breeding methods.
However, in the actual purchase process, these procedures are often not followed, and even a phone call is enough to arrange for a carrier to deliver the animal to your home.