Poll Reveals Majority of South Koreans Stand Against Dog Meat

Poll Reveals Majority of South Koreans Stand Against Dog Meat


Yet many are unaware of brutal killing methods 

Contact: Fleur Dawes,, (+1) 415-448-0048, (+44) 751-582-1141


Seoul, South Korea (November 2, 2016) – Public opposition to dog meat is stronger than ever in South Korea, according to new data revealed by animal protection organizations In Defense of Animals and Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE).

The independent poll of 1,000 Koreans reveals that over 60 percent have never eaten dog meat, 57 percent are “against” the cruel trade, and 46 percent believe dog meat should be banned. The number of people identifying as opposing dog meat has increased two percent since 2007.

Younger South Koreans are moving away from eating dogs at an astonishing rate, signaling more hope for the future. Three in four people in their twenties have never eaten dog, which is up 15 percent since 2007.

“We are pleased that years of our tireless efforts to protect dogs from the abusive meat trade in South Korea, we are making meaningful change,” said In Defense of Animals President, Dr. Marilyn Kroplick. “Millions of dogs suffer the most brutal treatment imaginable for Boshintang soup and false health tonics, so we thank Koreans who respect dogs by not eating these loving animals. In Defense of Animals will not rest until no more animals are harmed for food.”

Although the public is generally opposed to dog meat, the study has for the first time revealed how many Koreans are unaware or in disbelief of the brutal dog killing methods. Up to a third of respondents did not know that that dogs are hung, electrocuted, hit over the head, beaten and bled out by the meat industry. Another third actively did not believe that dogs were tortured and killed using those methods. Terrorized dogs are incorrectly rumoured to taste better or give better health benefits, which leads to intentional torture of dogs before they are eaten.

Only a tiny number of South Koreans eat dog meat regularly, with fewer than 5 percent of people reporting they eat it twice a month or more. Despite the relatively low incidence of dog meat consumption, two and a half million dogs are purported to be killed for food every year in South Korea, and the industry is worth over $200 million. The majority of dogs are eaten during “Bok Nal”, the country’s dog meat feast days that are held each summer.

AJ Garcia, President of South Korea-based organization, CARE said, “We have continually seen the demand for dog meat decreasing here in Korea, particularly among the younger generations. It is, of course, extremely encouraging that more and more individuals are both refusing to consume dog meat and are embracing dogs as companion animals. As the only country to allow intensive farming of dogs for human consumption, it is no small issue and millions of dogs are currently languishing on horrifying farms throughout the country. CARE, being founded and based in Korea, is dedicated to creating a more compassionate country and will continue to work with both the public and government until dog meat dishes and dog meat farms are a thing of the past.”

Dog meat dealers are known to buy animals who have been dumped or stolen illegally from homes – often still wearing their collars. Trucks are stacked with hundreds of dogs crammed alive into wire cages to transport their grim cargo toward the slaughterhouse. They are transported without food or water, and many suffer broken bones or perish before reaching their final destination. Those who survive can only wait their turn as they watch other dogs being tortured and killed for human consumption.

Earlier this year, In Defense of Animals and Korean activists undertook a dramatic rescue that saw seven dogs saved from a dog meat slaughterhouse, just weeks before Korea’s “Bok Nal”. The dogs have adjusted well and some are already settling into their forever homes.

To support the continued work of In Defense of Animals to protect dogs from the brutal dog meat trade in South Korea, please click here:


In a 2007 survey by South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, 59% of respondents under the age of 30 said they would not eat dog meat.

In a 2009 survey of Korean nationals, 60% of respondents were in favor of using dogs as pets or companions, and 55% were against the use of dogs as food for humans – Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 65, No. 3, 2009, pp. 615–632.

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For nearly 15 years, In Defense of Animals has been instrumental in exposing the dog and cat meat trade in South Korea. The Ditch Dog Meat campaign works through political, educational, awareness and action, to eliminate the market for dog meat in South Korea, and ensure dogs all over the world are seen as loving and protected companion animals and not raised as food.

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.

IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048