Almost half of South Koreans oppose a ban on dog meat consumption though the general public is widely divided over the issue, a new survey has showed.
The poll conducted by Realmeter on Monday revealed that about 51.5 percent of South Koreans were not in favor of criminalizing dog meat here.
Conversely, nearly 40 percent of respondents back the ban, with only 8.8 percent of respondents having no strong opinion.
The figures represent a deep divide in the country over the controversial consumption of dog meat between varying age groups, though not all young people hold a favorable view of a dog meat ban.
Around 57 percent of people in their 20s disagree with banning dog meat while nearly 37 percent showed support.
Similar patterns were found among people in their 40s and 50s, while opinions are more equally divided among those in their 30s and 60s.
Broken down by gender, 36.5 percent of South Korean men supported the dog meat ban, while 42.9 percent of women showed approval.
More South Koreans oppose the banning of dog meat than not across the political spectrum, while centrists and conservatives are more likely to be against the measure than progressives.
Dog meat consumption still remains a thorny issue in South Korea today.
Earlier this year, animal groups including the Animal Liberation Wave and Korea Association for Animal Protection staged a boycott of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics over what they have called cruel treatment of dogs in the country.
In an unprecedented ruling in April however, the Incheon District Court fined a dog farm owner in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, 3 million won ($2,700) for electrocuting a dog to death for meat, in violation of the country’s animal protection laws.
In 2017, Taiwan became the first country to ban the consumption of cat and dog meat in East Asia.
The survey was conducted on April 22 at the request of CBS, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
By Yim Hyun-su (email@example.com