South-Korean-president-suggests-dog-meat-ban
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, and first lady Kim Jung-sook take care of dogs at the presidential house in Seoul in this photo disclosed on Sept. 1. Photo courtesy of presidential house

Moon hints at prohibiting dog meat consumption

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said early this week that it’s time to consider a ban on eating dog meat during his weekly meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum.

Moon made the remarks as the prime minister briefed the government’s plan to improve the system to take care of abandoned pets, according to presidential spokeswoman Park Kyung-mee.

Moon has raised several dogs at the presidential compound, including two hunting dogs, which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gave as a gift during the inter-Korea summit in 2018.

The 68-year-old politician has frequently disclosed pictures with the dogs through his Facebook.

The Animal Protection Law is in force in the country to protect animals from cruelty and suffering. But the regulation does not prohibit dog meat consumption.

As a mounting number of people live with pet dogs, the consumption of dog meat is becoming less common in Korea. Yet, several restaurants still serve dog meat in even downtown Seoul.

The Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), a civic group, said that up to 1 million dogs are consumed every year here.

“We welcome the interests of our political leaders on the dog meat ban. It is a long-overdue job, and the government should prohibit dog meat as soon as possible,” KARA official Choi Yoon-jeong said.

“Even in Asia, only a handful of countries like China, Vietnam, and Cambodia consume dog meat. Some Chinese provinces are already prohibiting dog meat.”

Understandably, some are opposed to the idea.

“It makes me angry that there was no consultation with about 1,500 dog farmers of the country,” Cho Hwan-ro, who represents dog farmers, told local media outlets.

“The dog meat market is already established as the yearly consumption reaches up to 1.5 million. Then, the government is trying to make the dog farmers criminals.”

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.