Seoul: South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced that the government will establish a civilian-led consultative group to reach a social agreement on whether or not to prohibit the consumption of dog meat.
According to sources, Kim made the comments while presiding over a government policy coordination meeting on Thursday, stating that relevant ministries should make aggressive efforts to investigate the facts and balance differing public perspectives surrounding the controversial practise.
"We will create a societal consensus by forming a joint private-government consultative council chaired by civilians," the Prime Minister declared. "The debate over dog meat eating is not new, and it has raged for more than 30 years, dating back to the 1988 Seoul Olympics," he added.
"With the rapid growth in the number of pet-owning families and growing public awareness in animal rights and welfare, we are hearing more and more calls to reject dog meat eating as part of an outdated culinary culture." According to Kim's administration, the envisioned group, which will be launched next month, would include 20 experts, civic activists, and government officials who will hold in-depth discussions on the issue by April of next year.
The government also intends to create a distinct vice ministerial-level institution charged with developing action plans, as well as proactively gathering input from various stakeholders and undertaking related research, according to the statement.