The South Korean government is considering removing dog meat from its official definition of “livestock” amid rising concerns raised by animal-rights groups, Korea JoongAng Daily reported.
“There are some clashing points between the Livestock Industry Act and current culture. Reviews will be conducted to alleviate the discrepancies between the two,” Choi Jae-gwan, a senior secretary to President Moon Jae-in for agricultural and fishery issues, said on a Facebook live stream.
The response came in the face of an online petition that was posted on the South Korean Presidential Office’s website, which procured more than 200,000 signatures within a month’s time. Under the petition system, which has been well promoted by the Moon administration, for every petition that gets more than 200,000 signatures in 30 days, presidential staff are liable to issue a formal response.
A recent survey saw eight out of 10 respondents supporting a ban on dog meat dishes. In 2004, about 90% of respondents said they were against a sales ban on dog meat.
South Korea currently labels 19 animals, including dogs, as “livestock” for legal food consumption. More than 2.5 million dogs are raised for human consumption annually in the country, according to Humane Society International (HSI).
Meanwhile, British actor Pete Wicks and journalist Philippa Tomson plan to participate in the Great North Run Challenge on September 9 that will raise funds for HSI to shut down a dog-meat farm in South Korea.
The latest announcements of Indonesia and South Korea against dog-meat consumption may create some pressure on other Asian countries such as China and Vietnam that still consume dog meat.