South Korea dog meat protesters hounded by farmers

South Korea dog meat protesters hounded by farmers

South korea dog meat protest in seoul Jul 12 2019
A South Korean dog farmer eats dog meat during a counter-rally against animal rights activists demonstrating against the meat's trade, in front of the National Assembly in Seoul on Jul 12, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je)

SEOUL: South Korean dog farmers defiantly gobbled down canine meat at a counter-protest to an animal rights demonstration in Seoul on Friday (Jul 12), handing out leaflets touting the health benefits of the divisive delicacy.

Wearing headbands saying "Fight! Unite!" and dipping each stringy morsel in spicy sauce, the small but vocal group gathered paces away from a rally against the dog meat trade in front of South Korea's parliament.

Around one million dogs are eaten every year in the country, where the greasy red meat is part of traditional cuisine.

READ: Rescue of 200 dogs destined for slaughterhouse begins in South Korea

South Korean dog farmers hold a counter-rally against animal rights activists Seoul Jul 12 2019
South Korean dog farmers hold a counter-rally against animal rights activists demonstrating against the meat's trade, in front of the National Assembly in Seoul on July 12, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je)

But consumption has declined as the nation embraces the idea of dogs as pets instead of livestock, with slaughterhouses closing and pressure mounting from activists - at home and abroad - to ban eating the animals altogether.

Hollywood actress Kim Basinger, a long-time vegetarian, joined the group of black-clad animal rights protesters carrying handmade models of emaciated dead dogs.

But the farmers, who oppose legal measures currently tangled up in the courts to make killing pooches for meat illegal, were doggedly stating their case.

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"Dog meat itself is a chunk of collagen, which is good for the skin and makes one a beautiful woman," the farmers' leaflet said, adding that it is also good for the health of the elderly.

South Korea animal rights activist hold placards next to likenesses of dead dogs seoul jul 12 2019
South Korean animal rights activists hold placards next to likenesses of dead dogs during a protest against the dog meat trade in front of the National Assembly in Seoul on Jul 12, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je)

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"Dear citizens, please eat dog meat - a traditional, delicious delicacy that has been enjoyed by our ancestors for generations - without shame and thereby lead happy and healthy lives."

The two protests took place on what is the first of the summer's three hottest "dog days", as dictated by South Korean folk belief.

Many Koreans believe that eating chicken soup or dog meat on this particular day helps them beat the heat.

A 2017 survey found that 70 per cent of South Koreans do not eat dogs, but only about 40 per cent believe the practice should be banned.

Source: AFP/nr

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