South Korean adults appear evenly divided over whether to legally ban the slaughter of dogs for meat, according to a poll released Friday.
The survey of 501 Koreans older than 19 by local pollster Realmeter showed that 44.2 percent endorsed the enactment of a new law prohibiting the killing of dogs for meat consumption, whereas 43.7 percent opposed it.
The remaining 12.1 percent said they don't know the issue well, it said.
Among women, 48.6 percent supported a dog slaughter ban, with 36.8 percent against it. By contrast, 50.8 percent of men opposed the ban, with 39.8 percent in favor of it, the poll found.
By ideological propensity, the majority of liberal respondents, 50.6 percent, supported the ban, whereas 51.4 percent of conservatives were against the legal ban. The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.
In South Korea, animal rights activists and dog farm owners have fiercely clashed over the legislation against slaughtering dogs for meat consumption. The clash has been rekindled as a lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party recently introduced a bill that would effectively ban killing dogs for meat.
Analysts at Realmeter say there seems to be a gradual change in South Koreans' perception over dog meat, as 51.5 percent opposed the outlawing of dog slaughter, compared with 39.7 percent voicing the opposite view, in a similar poll conducted in June this year.
"The latest poll shows that the perception of animal rights protection for companion animals, like dogs and cats, is gradually expanding in Korean society, though the survey is a little different from the previous ones," an official said. (Yonhap)