This Thursday, South Korea announced that it will begin to consider the prohibition of the consumption of dogs, after the popularity that the animals took as pets in the young, leaving behind the centuries-old practice.
Approximately between 1 million and 1.5 million dogs die each year to produce food in South Korea.
Seven government offices, including the Ministry of Agriculture, released a statement gathering information on dog farms, restaurants, and other facilities, while continuing to scrutinize public opinion, sparking protests from dog breeders.
In this sense, Ju Yeongbong, general secretary of an association of dog breeders, accused the government of “trampling” the right of people to eat what they want and the right of farmers to live.
On the other hand, Lee Won Bok, director of the Korean Animal Protection Association, called the government’s announcement “very disappointing” because it did not include any concrete plan on how to ban the consumption of dog meat. “We deeply doubt whether the government is determined to end the consumption of dog meat,” Lee said.
About 1 million to 1.5 million dogs die each year to produce food in South Korea, a decrease from several million about 10-20 years ago. Thousands of farmers currently raise a total of about 1 million to 2 million dogs for meat in South Korea, according to Ju’s organization.
Ju said farmers, mostly poor and elderly, want the government to temporarily legalize the consumption of dog meat for about 20 years, with the expectation that demand will gradually decline. Lee said animal rights organizations want a faster end to the business.
“South Korea is the only developed country where people eat dogs, an act that is undermining our international image,” Lee said. “Even if the K-pop band BTS and the (Korean drama) Squid Game are ranked No. 1 in the world, foreigners still associate South Korea with dog meat and the Korean War.”