South Korea’s president has said the “time has come” to consider banning dog meat.
It was the first time the President of South Korea has talked about the possibility of a ban.
“After the briefing, he said time has come to carefully consider imposing a dog meat ban,” Moon’s spokeswoman Park Kyung-mee said in a statement.
The consideration comes after dogs have grown in popularity as pets in South Korea as well as groups have called for restaurants and markets selling dog meat to be shutdown.
Lee Jae-myung, governor of the country’s most populous province of Gyeonggi and a leading presidential contender from Moon’s party, has vowed to push for a ban through social consensus.
But opposition frontrunner Yoon Seok-youl has said it should be people’s personal choice.
Animal welfare group Aware found in a poll this month 78% of respondents believed the production and sale of dog and cat meat should be prohibited and 49% supported a consumption ban.
Polling firm Realmeter found people were divided over whether the government should ban eating dog meat, though 59% supported legal restrictions on dog slaughter for human consumption.
Dog meat sellers have insisted on the right to their occupation and hit back their livelihoods are at risk.