SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Yonhap) -- The government will launch a formal discussion on whether to prohibit dog meat consumption, officials said Thursday, following President Moon Jae-in's suggestion to review the controversial practice.
The government will table the issue of how to proceed with social discussions on dog meat consumption at a policy coordination meeting to be presided over by Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on Thursday next week, the government policy coordination office said.
The decision came after Moon raised the possibility of banning the consumption of dog meat in the country during his meeting with the prime minister in September.
A growing number of South Koreans live with dogs at home, but there are also dog farms still in operation, where some dog breeds are raised for meat.
Moon is known as a dog lover, living with several dogs at the presidential compound.
Animal rights activists have been claiming that the country's tradition of eating dogs is becoming an international embarrassment, while advocates of dog meat said people should have freedom to choose what they eat.
South Korea has the Animal Protection Law intended mainly to prevent the cruel slaughter of dogs and cats but not dog consumption itself.
A recent poll from Realmeter showed 48.9 percent of people were opposed to banning dog meat consumption by law, while 38.6 percent supported enacting a law to ban dog meat.