South Korea may move to ban the consumption of dog meat after Moon Jae-in, the country’s president, publicly raised concerns over the traditional but increasingly uncommon practice.

A decline in canine consumption: Eating dog meat, which has become an infamous custom, could eventually be phased out, according to The Guardian.

  • South Koreans eat around 1 million dogs per year.
  • This amount, however, has been decreasing over time, especially since more members of animal rights groups and younger generations are pushing for the practice to stop. According to a poll, 84% of South Koreans have never eaten dog meat, and 59% supported banning the tradition.
  • More people are also starting to see dogs as friendly companions instead of as a provider of meat.
  • The current animal protection law in South Korea does not ban canine consumption; rather, it focuses on preventing “the cruel slaughter of dogs and cats.”

A man’s best friend: During a recent meeting with South Korean prime minister Kim Boo-kyum, Moon reportedly spoke for the first time about whether it was time to consider a potential ban on canine consumption, the BBC reported.

  • Moon asked the prime minister, according to the presidential spokesperson, “Hasn’t the time come to prudently consider prohibiting dog meat consumption?”
  • Moon is known for being a dog lover. He has a dog named Tory who he adopted from an animal sanctuary in 2017.
  • Tory became South Korea’s “First Dog” and a symbol of Moon’s support for animal rights.
  • The South Korean president is also the owner of several other dogs who live in the president’s home in Seoul.
  • During his presidential election campaign, Moon promised to have more feeding facilities built for stray cats, as well as playgrounds for pets.
  • Banning the consumption of dog meat is a discussion that is speculated to continue as the nation’s next presidential election takes place in 2022, with many candidates already expressing their want to ban the practice.