SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) – Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on Thursday said the government would form a civilian sector-led advisory council to achieve social consensus on whether or not to ban meat consumption from dog.
Kim made the announcement while leading a policy coordination meeting. He said the ministers concerned should make active efforts to determine the facts and weigh the various public opinions surrounding the controversial practice.
“We will form a joint government-private civilian-led advisory council and achieve social consensus,” the prime minister said.
“The controversy over the consumption of dog meat is not new and has persisted for more than 30 years since the 1988 Seoul Olympics,” he said.
“With the surge in households raising pets and the growing public interest in animal rights and welfare, there are growing voices saying that it is difficult to see dog meat consumption as part of an old food culture. “
Today’s meeting came after President Moon Jae-in raised the need to “carefully consider banning the consumption of dog meat” during a session with Kim in September.
Animal rights activists condemn the practice they deem cruel, while others demand that people should be free to choose what they eat.
Moon is known to be a dog lover and lives with several dogs within the grounds of the Presidential Residence.
Earlier this month, a Realmeter poll showed that 48.9% of respondents oppose a ban on dog meat consumption by law, while 38.6% are in favor.
South Korea’s Animal Welfare Law aims to prevent the cruel slaughter of dogs and cats, but does not prohibit the consumption of dog meat.