South Korean task force to investigate dog meat ban

South Korea launches task force to study whether dog meat should be banned in the country, The Associated Press reported.

“As the number of families with pets has grown rapidly and public interest in animal rights and welfare has grown in our country, more and more voices are being raised for say that it is now difficult to consider the consumption of dog meat as just a traditional food culture ”, declared the Prime Minister. Kim Boo-kyum said, according to the AP.

A statement from seven government offices said the task force is not an admission that dog meat will be banned, claiming that “raising public awareness of the fundamental right [to eat preferred foods] and animal rights issues are entangled in complicated ways.

The task force will study dog ​​farms, restaurants that serve dog meat, and public opinion about it.

South Korea has 1 to 1.5 million dogs killed each year for food, according to the AP, down several million from previous decades.

An animal rights activist complained that the declaration did not go far enough, with dog breeders accusing the government of violating their rights.

“South Korea is the only developed country where people eat dogs, an act that undermines our international image,” said Lee Won Bok, director of the Korea Animal Welfare Association.

“Even though the K-pop group BTS and the [Korean drama] The Squid Game is ranked # 1 in the world, foreigners still associate South Korea with dog meat and the Korean War.

Ju Yeongbong, general secretary of a dog breeders association, said the decision to ban dog meat would impact poor elderly people, the AP noted.

Ju wants the government to legalize dog meat for 20 years as demand for meat continues to decline.

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