The laws revised in 2008 are colored with a green background.
The amendments introduced in 2011 are colored in light blue, including the increased fines taking effect in February 2012
ARTICLE 1. PURPOSE
- The purpose of this act is to provide the adequate protection and management of animals by preventing their mistreatment and to guide Korean citizens in the care, safety and respect of animal.
ARTICLE 2. DEFINITION
- The terminology used in this act is be defined as follows:
- "Animals" means cattle, horse, swine, dog, cat, rabbit, chicken, duck, goat, sheep, deer, fox, mink and other species as designated by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
- "Animals Subject to Registration" means an animal that requires registration in order to prevent disease and harm towards public health in Presidential decree.
- "Owner or Caretaker" means a guardian or person who owns an animal or is dedicated to raising, supervising and protecting animals.
ARTICLE 3. BASIC PRINCIPLE OF ANIMAL PROTECTION
- In keeping, caring and protecting animals, everyone should recognize the dignity and value of animals and shall try, to the maximum extent possible, to preserve the animals' natural habits and to guarantee their normal lives.
- Animals under protection should be free from the following:
- Hunger and thirst.
- Able to express natural behavior.
- Free from pain and disease.
- Free from fear and stress.
- Animal Welfare Act Plan should be updated every 5 years and local governments shall cooperate with the central government. The Animal Welfare Act Plan includes the following:
- Basic policies on animal welfare and prevention of animal abuse.
- Management of lost and abandoned animals.
- Polcity on Animal Experiment Ethics Committee.
- Policy on farm animal welfare.
ARTICLE 4. OBLIGATION OF PEOPLE, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE NATION
- The government must establish and enforce a comprehensive policy for the appropriate protection and supervision of animals, and local authorities must assist in actively pursuing local policies to establish and enforce the appropriate protection and supervision of animals within its jurisdiction.
- National and local authorities may encourage civic organizations, prescribed by Presidential decree, to conduct animal protection campaigns and other related activities and may offer them support.
- All people must make an effort to protect animals and cooperate with national or local policies for animal protection.
ARTICLE 5. REGISTRATION OF ANIMALS SUBJECT TO REGISTRATION (“ASR” hereafter)
- 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.
- If there is a detail that has been revised by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries relating to registrations in line with Section 1, it must be reported to the Mayor or County Magistrate.
- Mayor or County Magistrates can make the person decreed by the decree of Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries to comply in accordance with Section 1 on his or her property. In this case, fees would be paid accordingly.
- If under circumstances in which the an ASR must be registered in accordance with Section 1, matters that involve the animal’s range, registration method, registration details, process and any other matters that are required for registration will be decided according to the ordinances of the capital city, metropolitan city, province or special self-governed province (City, Province hereafter).
ARTICLE 6. PROPER ANIMAL CARE AND MANAGEMENT
- Efforts shall be made to ensure that animals are properly fed, watered and exercised and that they receive adequate rest and sleep.
- Sick or injured animals shall receive necessary and immediate medical attention from Owners or Caretakers of the animals.
- Owners and Caretakers and those caring for animals which are being moved shall try to take all necessary steps to accommodate them to their new environments.
- 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
- 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.
- The Mayor or Governor, when deemed necessary for animal abandonment and prevention of harm toward public health, can take necessary measures according to the ordinance of the City or Province, such as having the animal receive immunization shots, raised in special zones or locations, or limited entrance.
- Any other matters that are required for raising and supervising the animal must be decided by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries.
ARTICLE 7. PROHIBITION OF ANIMAL ABUSE
- No one shall commit the following acts toward animals:
- Act of killing by brutal methods, such as hanging
- Act of Killing in public or in another animal's presence
- Any other act of killing without valid reason set by the decree from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries
- No one shall commit the following abusive acts toward animals:
- Act of harming an animal with instrument or substance. However, this is permitted in certain circumstances approved by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, such as for preventing or curing disease.
- Act of harming an animal’s body, extracting bodily fluids or installing devices to extract bodily fluids while it is alive. However, this is permitted in certain circumstances approved by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, such as for preventing or curing disease.
- Act of harming an animal for the purpose of gambling, advertisement, entertainment, or amusement. However, there are exceptions, such as for traditional games, by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries.
- Any other act of harming without valid reason by decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, such as a need for veterinary treatment or damages to a person’s life, body, or property by the animal.
- No one shall capture and sell or kill any animal that is protected under Article 9, Section 1 (including animals under protection). However, if there are any exceptions approved by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, it must be carried out in a humane manner.
- The Owner or Caretaker of an animal shall not abandon his or her animal.
- Animals should have free access to water and food at all times.
- The following actions are not permitted under an circumstances
- Killing animals in a brutal manner, such as hanging by the neck.
- Killing animals in open places or in front of the same species.
- The following mistreatment is not permitted under an circumstances.
- Harming animals with drugs or equipment (except under the supervision of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
- Harming animals for entertainment, gambling, or advertising purposes.
ARTICLE 8. ANIMAL TRANSPORTATION
- Anyone transporting an animal that has been selected by decree from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries must make an effort to abide by the following:
- Ensure that the animals are properly fed, watered and drive carefully so that animals are not shocked or harmed from sudden departures or stops.
- The vehicle used for transportation must be built to prevent any harm during transportation and to minimize any pain due to poor ventilation or sudden changes in temperature, etc.
- When transporting an old, young, pregnant animal or an animal with its offspring that still needs milk, efforts shall be made so that they will not be harmed by other animals, such as screening them from other animals.
- The Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries can set the standards for the equipment and the structure of transportation vehicles in accordance with Article 1, Section 2 and promote usage of vehicles that match the standards.
- The Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries will oversee and rule on any other matters related to proper animal transportation.
- Animal transport officers designated by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries must do the following:
- Provide free access to food and water during a move.
- Avoid any possible injuries while moving an animal and minimize any pain or discomfort, such as sudden changes in body temperature or difficulty in breathing.
- Provide special care for sick, young, or pregnant animals.
- Not use tools such as an electric prod to move an animal.
ARTICLE 9. MANAGEMENT OF ABANDONED ANIMALS
- When the Mayor or County Magistrate finds a wandering or abandoned animal in a public place, such as street or a park, the administrative authority shall take all the necessary measures to protect or manage (hereinafter "Protective Measures") such animal in accordance with the provisions set forth in Article 6.
- The Mayor or County Magistrate shall then take necessary steps to inform the owner or the caretaker of the fact that his animal is subject to Protective Measures, such as posting to the public for more than 1 week.
- In the instance where the authority cannot identify the owner or caretaker of the animal after a period of 10 days of public notice, in accordance with Section 2 and in spite of Article 253 of Civil Law regarding Article 12 of the law on unclaimed property, then the related City, County or Council (hereinafter City/County) will have the right to own the animal.
- Mayor or County Magistrates can donate or sell the animal of the City or County in accordance with Section 3 to a zoo, an animal enthusiast (limited to those who fulfil the requisites set by the City or County), or a private organization selected by Presidential decree.
- Mayor or County Magistrates may collect expenses incurred for the Protective Measures from the Owner or new owner of the animal in question.
- Any matters regarding the methods of Protective Measures, calculation of expenditures in accordance with Section 5 and other Protective Measures will be governed by the law of the City or Province.
ARTICLE 10. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROTECTION FACILITIES
- The City or Governor must establish and operate a protection facility that meets the standards set by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries (Protection Facility hereafter) or secure a Protection Facility to which they can entrust protection measures (Trusted Protection Facility hereafter).
- If the City or Governor entrusts a portion of his or her authority to the Mayor or County Magistrate in accordance with Article 23, Section 2, he or she can provide the necessary expenses.
- The Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries can provide the expenses required for the establishment and operation of a Protection Facility and the consignment of the protective measures.
ARTICLE 11. SLAUGHTERING OF ANIMALS
- When slaughtering an animal in accordance with the "Law on Livestock Slaughtering" or the "Law on Livestock Disease Prevention," the methods selected by the decree of Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries must be used to minimize pain, such as gas or electrocution.
- If an animal must be killed under different circumstances to those of Section 1, a method that minimizes pain must be used.
ARTICLE 12. ANIMAL SURGERY
- Surgery on animals such as castration, de-horning and docking tails must follow veterinary methods.
ARTICLE 13. ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS
- Animal experimentation must be performed after considering the promotion of mankind's welfare and the dignity of animal lives.
- When considering the use of animals in experiments, substitute methods must be considered as preferential.
- Experiments with animals must be performed by someone who possesses knowledge and experience in the ethical handling and scientific usage of the animals used in experimentation (Experimental Animals hereafter), and only the minimum of the required number of animals should be used.
- Animals with low touch sensitivity should be used for experiments necessarily involving pain, and appropriate measures must be taken to lessen the pain, using veterinary methods that employ analgesics, sedatives and anaesthesia.
- A person who has conducted experiments with animals shall inspect the subject animals immediately after the conclusion of experiments and if the animals will suffer lasting pain or injury, then such animals shall be put to death as quickly as possible in the most painless way.
- No one shall perform experiments on the following animals, except for the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, when it deems it necessary, such as to conduct research on the species’ health or disease.
- Experimentation on abandoned animals
- Experimentation on animals that have served humans, such as Seeing Eye dogs or guide dogs
ARTICLE 14. ESTABLISHMENT OF ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION ETHICS COMMITTEE
- An Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee (Committee hereafter) must be established in animal experimentation facilities approved by presidential decree in order to oversee the protection and ethical treatment of experimental animals.
- The committee will comprise 3 to 15 members including 1 chairman of the committee, but at least one-third of the members must meet the criteria below, and they must not be an employee from the experimentation facility or be affiliated with it. However, there must be at least one person of the following:
- A veterinarian that follows Article 2, Section 1 of the “Law on Veterinary”
- A person who is very learned and experienced in animal protection, recommended by a private organization selected by presidential decree and who meets the criteria set by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries.
- A lawyer or a professor that teaches law at one of the “higher education” institutions
- A professor that is in charge of animal protection and welfare at one of the “higher education” institutions
- Members of the Committee are to be appointed by the president of the animal experimentation facility, and the chairperson is to be elected from among the members.
- A member that is taking part in a study, development or utilization that is being reviewed by the Committee may not take part in that review, or any other reviews involving that study, development or utilization.
- The Committee will direct animal experimentation so that it will be carried out in accordance with Article 13, and it can request that operators or workers at the experimentation facility take necessary measures for the protection and ethical treatment of experimental animals.
- A member of the Committee must not disclose or fraudulently use the information learned during his duty.
- Any matter that involves the committee’s structure and management aside from the direction methods from Section 5 will be determined by the presidential decree.
ARTICLE 15. REGISTRATION OF ANIMAL RETAILER AND UNDERTAKER
- Anyone who wishes to do business in producing, importing and raising animals approved by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries with intent to sell (Animal Retailer hereafter) must register with the Mayor or County Magistrate in accordance with the decree from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries.
- Anyone who wishes to do business in establishing or operating funeral parlors, crematoriums or charnel houses for animals (Animal Undertaker hereafter) must register with the Mayor or County Magistrate in accordance with the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries.
- Anyone who wishes to register in accordance with Section 1 or Section 2 must possess the facilities and the manpower required by decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries in order to protect their animals and prevent harm to public health.
- If anyone who has registered in accordance with Section 1 or Section 2 wishes to suspend, reopen, close a business or alter registration details that have been approved by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, he or she must register with the Mayor or County Magistrate in accordance with the decree from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries.
- If one of the following applies, a person cannot register in accordance with Section 1 or Section 2.
- If he or she does not meet the criteria mentioned in Section 3
- If he or she is underage, quasi-incompetent or incompetent (if it is a corporation, the board is included. The rest is the same as this Section).
- If less than one year has passed since his or her registration was cancelled in accordance with Article 21, Section 1 (if it is a corporation, the head of the corporation is included) and he or she wishes to register for the same business as the one that was cancelled.
- If less than one year has passed since he or she has received a fine.
- 6. One cannot establish an animal burial facility in an area that falls under Article 15 of the “Burial Laws.”
ARTICLE 16. MATTERS TO ABIDE BY
- An Animal Retailer that has registered in accordance with Article 15, Section 1 must abide by the rules of animal retailing set by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, such as selling animal outside of the prescribed ages.
- An Animal Undertaker that has registered in accordance with Article 15, Section 2 must abide by the rules on the establishment and operation of animal burial facilities set by decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries.
ARTICLE 17. EDUCATION
- Animal Retailers and Animal Undertakers that have been registered by decree from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries and the people that have been hired by them (“Employees” hereafter) must be educated on animal protection and measures to be taken to prevent harm to public health.
- Animal Retailers or Animal Undertakers must take necessary measures to ensure that the employees are educated in accordance with Section 1.
- All matters related to facilities that educate in accordance with Section 1 and Section 2, with relation to the content, expense and the payment for education, are decided by the decree of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries.
ARTICLE 18. APPLICATION LIMITS
- Section 1 and 2 of Article 7 shall not apply to any of the following cases:
- Slaughter of animals for food in accordance with the Article 2, Section 1 “Law on of Livestock Slaughtering”
- Hunting in accordance with the “Law on the Wild animal and Plants Protection”
- Necessary measures for the protection, care or treatment of wounds of animals categorized as “natural treasures” in accordance with the “Law on the Cultural Properties Protection”
- Other cases are determined by other laws
ARTICLE 19. ANIMAL PROTECTION WARDEN
- The Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, Mayor or Governor and Mayor or County Magistrate must appoint an animal protection warden in order to manage the work related to animal protection.
- The Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, Mayor or Governor and Mayor or County Magistrate can appoint a person recommended by a private organization approved by presidential decree, or a person who is well learned and experienced in animal protection, as the animal protection warden for the monitoring of animal abuse and rescue and protection of abused animals.
- Qualifications and appointment of the animal protection warden and the animal protection honorary warden, and other related matters are approved by presidential decree.
- When the animal protection warden or the animal protection honorary warden are carrying out his or her duties in accordance with Section 3, no one may reject, interfere or evade enforcement unless under special circumstances relating to the treatment of disease or giving birth to young.
- An animal protection warden who has received a report on animal abuse can take the necessary measures, isolating the abused animal from the abuser and taking the animal to an animal protection facility or to a medical treatment facility if wounds need treatment.
ARTICLE 20. ENTRY/INSPECTION
- If the Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, Mayor or Governor and Mayor or County Magistrate deem that the Owner or Caretaker might be abusing an animal, breaking the law or posing a danger to public health, they can take the following actions against the Owner or Caretaker.
- Request for the animal’s current status, the actual condition of management, and other required materials
- Enter and inspect the premises where an animal is located.
- Issue a correction order from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries to halt animal abuse, devise a measure to prevent harm, etc.
- When the Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, Mayor or Governor or Mayor or County Magistrate is planning to enter and inspect a premises according to Section 1.2, they must first notify the Owner or Caretaker 7 days prior to entry/inspection and include the details listed below. However, if it is deemed that advanced notice will deter the success of the operation, they can notify the subject at the time of entry/inspection.
- Reason for entry/inspection
- Date and location of entry/inspection
- Name and rank of the government official
- Range of entry/inspection and content
- Materials to submit
ARTICLE 21. CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION
- The Mayor or County Magistrate can cancel the registration of an animal retailer or opt to partially or totally halt the business for a six-month period for violations listed below by decree of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries. However, in the case of a violation of paragraph 1, the registration must be cancelled.
- If it is proven that the registration was done by fabrication or other unlawful means.
- If a registrant violates Article 7, Section 1 or Section 2, by carrying out abusive acts against animals.
- If a registrant has not opened the business within one year of the registration date.
- If a registrant has failed to meet the criteria mentioned in Article 15, Section 3
- If a registrant has not reported the suspension, reopening, or closing of the business or has not reported the alteration of registration details in accordance with Article 15, Section 4
- If a registrant has done against matter to abide by Article 16.
- If a registrant has failed to follow the orders mentioned in Article 20, Section 1
- The Mayor or County Magistrate must carry out a hearing if he or she wishes to cancel the registration in accordance with Section 1.
ARTICLE 22. FEES
- The Mayor or Country Magistrate can collect fees from the person who wishes to submit one of the following registrations in accordance with the city/province’s rules and Article 15.
- Animal registration in accordance with Article 5
- Animal retailing/undertaking registration or report of alteration of registration details
ARTICLE 23. ENTRUSTMENT OF AUTHORITY
- The Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries can entrust a part of the authority given to him by this law to the head of an affiliated organization or the Mayor or Governor, in accordance with the decision made by presidential decree.
- The Mayor or Governor can entrust a part of the authority given to him by Article 10, Section 1 to the Mayor or County Magistrate in accordance with the ordinance.
ARTICLE 24. MAINTENANCE OF MATERIALS AND RELEASE OF INFORMATION
- The Minister of Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries must gather and analyze the following information and materials, and release the information to the public on a yearly basis.
- Matters regarding animal registration done in accordance with Article 5.
- Matters regarding abandoned animals, Protection Facilities and Trusted Protection Facilities in line with Article 9 and 10.
- Matters regarding Animal Experimentation Ethics Committees’ operations and the realities of animal experimentation in accordance with Article 14.
- Matters regarding the registration of Animal Retailers and Animal Undertakers done according to Article 15, and the realities of their operations
- The Ministory of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shall conduct surveys to analyze information concerning animal experimentation and general welfare/protection of animals in farms and shelters and publish an annual report.
ARTICLE 25. PUNISHMENT
- Anyone that falls under one of the following criteria will be fined up to 5 million won.
- A person who has violated Article 7, Section 1 or Section 3
- A person who has violated Article 14, Section 6, disclosing or fraudulently using the confidential
- Anyone who did not register according to Article 15, Section 1 or Section 2 and managed animal retailing/undertaking, or registered by means of fabrication or other dishonest means, he or she will be fined up to 1 million won.
- Anyone who has violated Article 13, Section 6 will be fined up to 100,000 won.
ARTICLE 26. FINES
- Anyone who falls under one of the following criteria will be fined up to 500,000 Won
- A person who has violated Article 7, Section 4, by abandoning an animal
- The head of animal experimentation facility that has not established an animal experimentation ethics committee according to Article 14, Section 1
- A person who has not received education according to Article 17 without a valid reason
- A person who has violated Article 19, Section 4, by rejecting, interfering or evading the animal protection warden or animal protection honorary warden during his or her line of duty.
- A person who has not complied with the requested materials in accordance with Article 20, Section 1.1 or a person who has submitted fabricated materials.
- A person, who has rejected, interfered or evaded the entry/inspection done in accordance with Article 20, Section 1.2.
- A person who has not carried out the correction orders given in accordance with Article 20, Section 1.3
- Anyone who falls under one of the following criteria will be fined up to 300,000 won.
- A person who has violated Article 6, Section 4, by failing to attach an identification tag
- A person who has violated Article 6, Section 5, by failing to take safety precautions or failing to clean up excrements
- The fines that fall under Section 1 and Section 2 will be imposed/collected by the Minister Food, Agriculture, Foresting and Fisheries, Mayor or Governor or Mayor or County Magistrate (Board of Punishment hereafter) in accordance with presidential decree.
- If someone wishes to appeal a fine given in accordance with Section 3, he or she can file an appeal within 30 days following the notice.
- If someone who has received a fine has filed an appeal in accordance with Article 4, the Board of Punishment must report it to the appropriate court, and the appropriate court that has received that report should carry out a trial in accordance with the “Law on No-litigation Procedure.”
- If an appeal is not filed within the 30-day period given in accordance with Section 4, it will be collected in the manner of national or local tax collection.
- A fine of up to 300,000 won may be imposed for violation of the rules that are in accordance with Article 5, Section 4 or Article 6, Section 6.
- Laws against cruelty to animals include a maximum fine of 10 million won and up to one year in prison.
BYLAWS [8852, 29 Feb. 2008]
- (Date of enforcement) This law will take effect right after proclamation with the exception of the part regarding “Food industry Development” among the laws of Article 31, Section1, which will come in effect from 28 June, 2008.
- (Interim measures) In accordance with Article 6 of BYLAWS, revised laws that have been announced but are not in effect on the date of an infringement will not be enforced. Rather, current laws will apply.