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South Korean farmers protest at plans to ban dog meat consumption

SOUTH Korean dog farmers protested today against a push by authorities to outlaw dog meat consumption, with dozens scuffling with police during a rally near the presidential office.

Earlier this month, government and ruling party officials agreed to introduce legislation banning the centuries-old practice by the end of the year.

About 200 farmers, restaurant owners and others gathered in yesterday’s rally.

“We’ll fight. We’ll fight,” the protesters shouted.

Some farmers brought dogs in cages on their lorries but were prevented from taking them to the protest site. A shoving match between some protesters and police occurred.

Dog meat consumption is neither explicitly banned nor legalised in South Korea. But there have been calls to prohibit it over concerns about the country’s international image and growing public support for animal rights.

The Bill would phase out the dog meat industry by 2027 and provide financial support to farmers to help them dismantle their facilities and open new businesses.

Farmers want a longer grace period and direct financial compensation for giving up their dogs. They also say their businesses will naturally disappear when older people, their main customers, die.

About 700,000 to one million dogs are slaughtered for consumption each year, down from several million 10 to 20 years ago, according to an industry association.

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