South Korea’s President says it’s time to consider a ban on eating dog meat

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While no longer as common as before, dog meat is primarily consumed by older people and is served in some restaurants and can be purchased at specific markets.

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Moon made the remarks after Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum briefed her about efforts to improve the handling of abandoned animals and the mandatory registration system for dogs.

“After the briefing, she said it was time to take a careful look at banning dog meat,” Moon spokeswoman Park Kyung-mi said in a statement.


It was the first time Moon had imposed the ban, which is likely to give new impetus to the debate on whether to curtail the practice.

To boost its popularity, several presidential candidates have pledged to ban dog meat in recent weeks, especially as dogs have become popular as pets and advocacy groups have called for dog meats from South Korea. Restaurants and markets selling meat have been urged to close.

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Lee Jae-myung, the governor of the country’s most populous province of Gyeonggi and a leading presidential contender in Moon’s party, has vowed to push for sanctions through social consensus.

But Yoon Sek-yul, who is at the forefront of the opposition, has said that it is a matter of personal choice of the people.

A survey by animal welfare group Aware, released this month, said that 78 percent of respondents believed the production and sale of dog and cat meat should be banned and 49 percent supported a consumption ban.

However, another survey by polling firm Realmator found that people were divided on whether the government should ban the eating of dog meat, although 59 percent supported legal restrictions on the slaughter of dogs for human consumption.

Dog meat sellers have asserted their right to business, saying their livelihood is in danger.


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