Restaurants in Pyeongchang are cheating against the government’s call to stop serving dog meat, said a spokesman for local authorities.
South Koreans consume around one million dogs annually, especially asa delicacy in the summer.
Activists have stepped up their campaigns to make the consumption of dogs unlawful, with signature campaigns, and call for a boycott during the Olympics.
Almost all the restaurants serving dog meat in Pyeongchang, where the opening ceremony of the Olympics is held on Friday, have refused to remove dog meat from their menus.
Of the total of twelve restaurants offering the controversial delicacies, only two have taken notice of the government’s request to stop serving dog meat in exchange for subsidies.
Lee Yong-bae, a spokesman for local government in Pyeongchang, said it is difficult to get the restaurants to comply with the call.
‘We have received a number of complaints from the restaurants that we are threatening their livelihoods. Some of them switched to pork instead, but switched back to dog meat after the sales decreased’, he said.
The tradition of eating dog meat has decreased in recent years, and the country has increasingly embraced the idea of dogs as pets instead of food. Eating dog meat is now seen as taboo by most young South Koreans.
During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Chinese authorities forbade hotels and restaurants to serve dog meat while the Olympic Games were running, so to help western visitors.
Previously, South Korea has found itself in controversies surrounding dog meat
consumption during both the 2002 Summer Olympics, and the World Cup in 2002.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today