March 24, 2008 09:21
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will ask the central government to include dogs in the legal definition of livestock, in a bid to ensure hygienic butchery and processing of what some Koreans regard as a delicacy.
A Seoul official said there are 528 canine meat restaurants in Seoul, temporarily rising to 600 in the summer, when people traditionally eat dog stew as a health booster. Therefore, including dogs in livestock is necessary to protect public health.
The current livestock processing law covers domestic animals such as cows, horses, lambs and sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, deer, rabbits, turkeys, geese, quails, pheasants and donkeys.
Butchers and processors of these animals have to undergo regular sanitary inspections by local governments and the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Not so for canine meat.
The Seoul metropolitan government plans to persuade opponents with the argument that including dogs in legal livestock will help in fact help restrict cruel and un-hygienic butchery of dogs.
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