From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2000:
SEOUL––The South Korean National Assembly subcommittee for agriculture on December 10 dropped until after the next general election any further consideration of competing bills which would either officially classify dogs as livestock saleable for human consumption or fully ban eating dog meat.
An Agriculture Ministry spokesperson reportedly told media that, “It is difficult to decide” which bill the ministry should support, “because half of the Korean people agree that dogs may be eaten and the other half do not. If the government allows dog meat trade and regulates dog meat sanitation, many foreigners will boycott Korea and World Cup 2002,” the international soccer championship which is to be cohosted by South Korea and Japan.
The Agriculture Ministry reportedly blamed the Health Ministry for failing to enforce the existing law, adopted before the 1988 Winter Olympics, thereby allowing dog meat consumption to rise from circa two million dogs per year in 1988 to about three million per year now.
Dogs are commonly eaten by older men of Han Chinese ethnicity, especially, throughout Asia. Cats are more often eaten by older women. Dog and cat fur exports to the U.S. from China and northern Thailand, recently exposed by the Humane Society of the U.S. and World Society for the Protection of Animals, are a largely a byproduct of eating dogs and cats––which practices are abhored by the Buddhist majority in Thailand, but are allowed under a policy of ethnic tolerance.
Korean dog-and-cat-eating customs are particularly cruel, by intent, because of a prevailing belief that the remains taste better and impart superior medicinal qualities if saturated in adrenalin during a slow death in pain and fear. Dogs are slowly hanged, flogged, and dehaired by blowtorch while still alive; cats’ bones are broken with a hammer before they are boiled alive.
[Petitions against Korean dog-and-cat-eating are distributed by the International Association for Korean Animals on behalf of the Korea Animal Protection Society c/o POB 20600, Oakland, CA 94620; >>firstname.lastname@example.org<<.]