South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sept. 27 raised the possibility of banning dog meat consumption in the country where it is a traditional practice, but it has been dwindling in recent years.
“Hasn’t the time come to prudently consider prohibiting dog meat consumption?” Moon told Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum during a weekly meeting, according to a presidential spokesperson.
The spokesperson did not provide further details.
Moon, a known dog-lover, made the remarks during a briefing on new measures to protect abandoned pets in the country. It was the the first time he raised the prospect of a total ban.
While South Korea has the Animal Protection Law that prevents the cruel slaughter of dogs and cats, it does not ban consumption itself.
About one million dogs are believed to be eaten annually, but consumption has decreased in recent years amid a growing trend of keeping the animals as pets, causing three of the country’s largest dog meat markets to shut down.
“A growing number of South Koreans are considering the consumption of dog meat as a matter of animal abuse rather than tradition,” Korea Animal Rights Advocates Head Jeon Jin-kyung said, as quoted by Yonhap News Agency.
Meanwhile, dog meat advocates said that people should be free to choose what they eat.
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