South Korea today said it will launch a task force to consider a ban on eating dog meat after the country's President called for an end to the centuries-old practice.
Meat from canines constitutes a major part of South Korean cuisine with about one million dogs believed to be eaten annually, but consumption has declined in recent years as more people embrace them as pets and younger people find the delicacy less appealing.
Seven government offices including the Agriculture Ministry said they launched a taskforce to deliver recommendations on possibly outlawing dog meat consumption.
They said authorities will gather information on dog farms, restaurants and other facilities while examining public opinion.
The move came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is himself a dog lover, said the traditional practice should be stopped to avoid international embarrassment.
South Korea today said it will launch a task force to consider a ban on eating dog meat after the country's President called for an end to the centuries-old practice. Pictured: Dogs are kept in cages at a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for the end of to the consumption of dog meat in September
The seven government offices said in a statement that 'public awareness of their basic rights and animal rights issues are tangled in a complicated manner' when it comes to dog meat consumption.
Public opinion suggests 'people have negative views both about eating dogs and legally banning it,' it added.
The taskforce will comprise of officials, civilian experts and people from related organizations with the aim of delivering recommendations.
The government says the initiative, the first of its kind, doesn't necessarily guarantee the banning of dog meat. The seemingly vague stance drew quick protests from both dog farmers and animal rights activists.
Farmers say the task force's launch is nothing but a formality to shut down their farms and dog meat restaurants, while activists argue the government's announcement lacks resolve to outlaw dog