South Korea Pet Registration to Hit 1 Million This Year

David Lee, May 11, 2016, 1:43 p.m.

The number of registered pets in South Korea is about to reach 1 million this year, some two years after the pet registration policy started, government data showed Tuesday. A total of 979,000 house pets including dogs and cats were registered as of end-2015, up from 888,000 a year ago, according to the data compiled by the state-run Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency. The figure accounted for 55 percent of an estimated 1.78 million pets subject to registration.

According to revised quarantine laws that took effect on Jan. 1, 2014, all pet owners are required to register and microchip their cat or dog that is over three months old with their local council for nationwide pet identification and recovery service. Otherwise, they could be fined up to 400,000 won (US$340).

The data also showed that the number of abandoned animals was 821,000 last year, continuing its downward pace since 2010 when it peaked at 1 million. Most of the stray dogs and cats went to a new owner or were euthanized, with only 14.6 percent returned to their original owners. It cost 12.9 billion won to deal with ownerless animals last year, up 23.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data.

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