South Korea’s president has announced that a ban on dog meat is a possibility in the wake of waning popularity. The may millions of dogs slaughtered annually had dwindled to approximately 1 million and three major dog meat markets have closed. Nevertheless, there is likely to be opposition to the ban with the financial consequences largely hitting the country’s poorest people who rely on the trade.
Support for a ban may be a popular issue in forthcoming elections, with consumers being in a minority, but there is also a vociferous section the public that, although not consuming dog meat, opposes a ban on libertarian grounds. It remains t be seen whether it will be an easy vote winner or a source of polarisation and division.
Meanwhile, 53 dogs were rescued by police from an illegal trader who has been a significant player for two decades. It is claimed that he was slaughtering up to 30 dogs per day.
As with South Korea, the consumption of dog meat is a minority choice but the effect of animal welfare out of all proportion. Many of the dogs are stolen from owners and the trade has been blamed for spreading zoonoses, including rabies.