New Delhi: South Korean President Moon Jae-in has suggested a ban on eating dog meat in the country. He says the time has come to end the habit as it is becoming an “international embarrassment”.
Dog meat has been a long-standing part of South Korean food and it is believed that nearly 10 lakh dogs are eaten annually, but in recent times, a different trend has been observed in meat consumption. Most people are beginning to value animals as companions.
“Hasn’t the time come to prudently consider prohibiting dog meat consumption?” Moon told Prime Minister Kim Boo Qum during a weekly meeting, according to the international media.
However, the full details of the statement were not made available to the media.
Moon, known as a dog lover, has many animals in his Presidential resident, including Tori, a rescued dog. Adopting Tori was a promise of Moon’s election campaign and Tori became the first dog to make it to the Blue House.
Eating dog meat is viewed as a stigma among the young population, and there is increasing pressure from animal rights activists. South Korea has animal protection laws to prevent dogs and cats from being killed. However, this law does not ban meat consumption in restaurants and institutions.
According to Korean culture, dog meat has qualities that increase strength and masculinity. The Korean government has not amended the law for fear of a backlash from conservatives.
Critics insist that the ban itself will solve the problem. A lot of South Koreans, especially the elderly use dog meat soup. They believe it keeps blood cool during the summer season.
Animal rights groups on Tuesday welcomed the South Korean president’s offer to look into banning the consumption of dog meat. A few activists gathered in central Seoul on Tuesday to call for the government and parliament to work out steps to officially prohibit dog meat consumption.
We actively welcome President Moon Jae-in’s comments instructing a review of the dog meat consumption ban and hope there would be substantial progress on that, animal rights organizations said in a joint statement.
Activists later visited Moon’s presidential office and parliament to convey their calls for swift action to ban dog meat consumption, said Lee Won Bok, head of the Korea Association of Animal Protection.
(With PTI Inputs)