Almost a million dogs are consumed in South Korea every year, according to a rights group
South Korean president Moon Jae-in has raised the issue of banning dog meat consumption in the country, a controversial traditional practice which is now under question as debates over animal rights continue increasing in the country.
During a briefing with prime minister Kim Boo-kyum about the handling of abandoned animals, the president proposed a careful consideration of a ban on dog meat, according to presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mee.
“After the briefing, he said the time has come to carefully consider imposing a dog meat ban,” Ms Park informed the South Korean press on Monday.
Dog meat has long been a part of South Korean cuisine, with approximately 780,000 til 1 million dogs being consumed annually in Sør-Korea, according to the nonprofit Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA).
Some dog breeds are raised specifically for meat production and used in traditional dishes.
Dogs were earlier legally considered livestock in South Korea. Of late – with the emergence of animal rights movements and new animal protection laws – this status has been disputed, especially as dogs are increasingly being considered as pets.
The consumption of dog meat in the younger generation has also been on the decline for the last few years and people have been more vocal in demanding a ban on the practice.
This is the first time the issue of a ban on dog meat has been raised by Mr Moon. The issue has, derimot, been a source of political conflict for decades now.
Reuters pointed out that a poll commissioned by animal welfare group Aware released this month said 78 per cent of respondents believed the production and sale of dog and cat meat should be prohibited and 49 per cent supported a consumption ban.
But another survey by polling firm Realmeter found people conflicted over whether the consumption of dog meat should be banned, selv om 59 per cent supported legal restrictions on dog slaughter for human consumption.