North Korea Bans Keeping Dogs as Pets Except If Owners Plan to Eat Them or Collect Fur

The regime also highlighted that "the purpose of raising dogs is to collect more furs," as reported by the source.

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North Koreans face the risk of severe punishment from the regime if they choose to keep dogs as pets, Pyongyang has decreed, saying that canines should only be kept for their meat and fur. The weird ban was announced by the Socialist Women's Union of Korea, according to a source in South Pyongan Province, situated north of the capital, the Daily Mail reported.

In an interview with Daily NK, a newspaper in neighboring South Korea, the source listed the offenses that could cause dog owners to breach the government's socialist principles, the outlet reported. North Korea keeps introducing bizarre rules for its citizens and this is the the latest one.

Dog Owners in North Korea at Risk

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The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy. Reuters

"Treating a dog as a family member, who eats and sleeps with the family, is incompatible with the socialist lifestyle and should be strictly avoided," the source said. The act of dressing dogs in clothing, as exemplified by Western celebrities such as Paris Hilton, was specifically singled out for criticism.

"The practice of dressing up dogs as if they were humans, putting pretty ribbons in their hair, wrapping them in a blanket, and burying them when they die is a bourgeois activity," the source continued.

"It's one of the ways wealthy people waste money in a capitalist society."

Describing North Korea's regime's attitude, the source said: "Dogs are basically meat that's raised outside in accordance with their nature and then eaten when they die.

"Therefore, such behavior is totally unsocialist and must be strictly eliminated."

The regime also highlighted that "the purpose of raising dogs is to collect more furs," as reported by the source.

The surge in dog ownership, a practice labeled by the authorities as carrying "the stench of the bourgeoisie," reportedly prompted the introduction of the new decree.

Dire Consequences

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While citizens were offered the opportunity to handle the matter "quietly," failure to comply could initiate a "mass movement" to "eliminate" the practice, according to the source. Union members were cautioned that the tradition of keeping pet dogs must eventually come to an end.

Greg Scarlatoiu, the executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), an organization that documents the atrocities of the Kim regime, characterized the decree as "ludicrous."

Scarlatoiu said: "The Kim regime criminalizes normal behavior, including visiting a relative in a neighboring village without a travel permit, crossing the border without regime approval, or possessing a religious book.

"The ongoing crackdown on pet dog ownership as non-socialist behavior – this attempt to break the multi-millennial human-canine bond by ideological decree – is the epitome of ludicrous interdiction."

According to the source in South Pyongan, the practice of keeping dogs as pets began modestly in North Korea in the early 2000s, primarily with their role as guard dogs.

While dog meat is consumed in both Koreas, its consumption has become controversial in the South, leading the Seoul government to pass a law in January prohibiting its production and sale.

In North Korea, a dog-meat soup known as Dangogiguk is occasionally served to foreign visitors.