South Korea government policy coordination office on Thursday said the government was set to launch a formal discussion on whether to prohibit dog meat consumption or not.

The decision follows 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 Cabinet meeting to be presided over by Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on Nov. 23.

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.

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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 per cent of people were opposed to banning dog meat consumption by law, while 38.6 per cent supported enacting a law to ban dog meat. (Yonhap/NAN)