South Korea president says ‘time has come’ to end traditional dog meat eating

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The president of South Korea has called for a ban on the country's tradition of eating dog meat.

Moon Jae-in said that the 'time has come' to put an end to the internationally embarrassing practice.

Dog meant consumption in South Korea is steadily declining, with more people viewing dogs as companions rather than livestock. It is growingly unpopular among the country's young people, and in recent years there has been significant pressure from angry animal rights activists.

That said, it is believed that there are roughly 1 million dogs eaten there every year. The practice itself dates back to the first century A.D on the Korean peninsula and is still common place today.

According to a presidential spokesperson, Moon Jae-in raised the issue during a weekly meeting with the country's prime minister, Kim Boo-kyum, on Monday.

“Hasn’t the time come to prudently consider prohibiting dog meat consumption?” Moon Jae-in is said to have asked.

The remarks were made during a discussion about improving the care system for abandoned pets. South Korea's current animal protection laws aim to prevent the cruel slaughter of cats and dogs but do not directly impact the consumption of their meat.

In June 2018 a South Korean municipal court ruled that killing dogs for their meat was illegal, but again this did not make consumption illegal.

The current laws are often used by authorities to shut down embarrassing establishments before international events, including dog farms and dog meat restaurants. This was done before the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

President Moon Jae-in is among the growing amount of people welcoming dogs into their home in South Korea.

During his presidential campaign he pledged to adopt a rescue dog, Tory, if he won, and it became the first rescue dog to get into the Blue House (South Korea's executive office).

The dog fanatic also has a number of other pooches at his presidential residence.

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