Almost all the dog meat restaurants in Pyeongchang, where the Winter Olympics opening ceremony will be held on Friday, have disregarded a government request to stop serving the food.
South Koreans are believed to consume about one million dogs a year as a summertime delicacy. The greasy red meat is boiled for tenderness and is believed to increase energy and health.
Activists have launched several campaigns to ban dog consumption, with online petitions urging boycotts of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics over the issue, and protests in Seoul.
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South Koreans are believed to consume about one million dogs a year. Pictured: Two month old puppies openly for sale in the Seongnan market, South of Seoul, for pets or for meat. The puppies cost just $9.20, or £6.50
The greasy red dog meat is believed to increase energy and health. Pictured: A bowl of Bosintang, dog meat soup, which is said to boost the diners sex drive
Local authorities asked the 12 dog meat restaurants in Pyeongchang county to stop serving the food during the Games, in exchange for subsidies.
But only two have complied, Pyeongchang County government official Lee Yong-bae told AFP.
‘We’ve faced a lot of complaints from restaurant operators that we are threatening their livelihood,’ he said.
‘Some of them initially shifted to selling pork or things instead of dog meat only to find their sales plunging sharply. They then switched back to dog meat.’
Signs advertising dog meat dishes such as boshintang (health-boosting soup), yeongyangtang (nutrient soup) or sacheoltang (year-round soup) have been replaced with more neutral ones such as yeomsotang (goat soup) to avoid giving ‘a bad impression to foreigners’ during the Games, he added.
Dogs and even puppies are sold openly for food in Moran market, Seongnam, the country’s largest open-air dog market, near Seoul, which has survived an animal rights campaign to shut it before the Winter Olympics – and claims by the local authorities to have closed it
Butchered: This dog’s fur was burnt off and its head removed but its paws are still attached while a potential customer views the dog’s carcass
Dog meat is officially classed as ‘detestable’ by Seoul, as is snake, but the designation has no legal ramifications.
South Korean authorities sporadically try to persuade restaurants to change their menus or drop signs suggestive of dog meat during major international events hosted by the country.
The tradition has declined as the nation increasingly embraces the idea of dogs as pets instead of livestock, with eating them now something of a taboo among young South Koreans.
Activists have been organizing online petitions demanding a boycott of the 2018 Winter Olympics over the issue
Winter Olympics 2018: The key events in Pyeongchang
After the spectacular opening ceremony, which saw an historic handshake between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the games began in earnest.
Nearly 3,000 athletes from 92 nations descended on Pyeongchang, and more than 100 gold medals were up for grabs.
Here were some of the key events from the Games.
Preliminary rounds: February 8, from 2am
While the Games officially kicked off on Friday, the sporting action actually started a day before, with mixed curling and the qualification round for the men’s individual normal hill ski jumping.
Opening Ceremony: February 9, from 10.30am
The spectacular display featured child performers, huge puppets, a world-record 1,200 drones flown simultaneously, and thousands of dancers in a celebration of Korean history and unity.
Inside the arena 30,000 people, including a 200-strong North Korean cheerleading squad, watched in -3C temperatures.
The two-hour showpiece kick started the games at -3C, dispelling worries that a potential chill of -10C would be too cold for some events to be held
Television viewers may catch site of this group of North Korean cheerleaders, sent to the South by Kim Jong-un to support North Korea’s small selection of competitors
The parade of nations featured huge flags projected on to the stage for each nation, and was capped off when athletes from both North and South entered under a single united flag.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam, who had earlier shaken hands in an historic meeting, clapped and waved in unison as the team entered.
Men’s downhill: February 11, from 2am
One of the showpiece events of the Games, with favourites including Beat Feuz of Switzerland, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and Max Franz of Austria.
North and South unify for ‘Korea’ ice hockey team: February 12, 12.10pm
Female hockey players from both North Korea and South Korea made history by joining forces. At 9.10pm local time they will take on Sweden in their opening fixture.
Female hockey players from both North Korea and South Korea make history by joining forces. At 9.10pm local time they will take on Sweden in their opening fixture.
One of the Games’ biggest stars, legendary US snowboarder Shaun White (pictured) – dubbed the Flying Tomato – expected to compete in the men’s halfpipe finals
Halfpipe final: February 14, from 1.30am
One of the Games’ biggest stars, legendary US snowboarder Shaun White – dubbed the Flying Tomato – expected to compete in the men’s halfpipe finals.
Women’s curling: From February 14, coverage starting at 5am
Britain led by Eve Muirhead had strong medal hopes in curling with the competition running throughout the Games, although narrowly missed out.
Ice dancing: February 19, from 3.30am
Always a popular event at the Winter Olympics, the ice dancing will take place at Gangneung Ice Arena. British medal hopes rest on Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland who have been helped by Olympic legends Torvill and Dean.
Always a popular event at the Winter Olympics, the ice dancing will take place at Gangneung Ice Arena. British medal hopes rest on Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland (pictured) who have been helped by Olympic legends Torvill and Dean
Women’s Skeleton final: February 17, from 11am
Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold defended her gold medal from Sochi 2014.
Big Air snowboarding: February 19
Katie Ormerod, 20, led British hopes in the spectacular Big Air contest, new to the Olympics, as well as slopestyle which took place on February 11 at 4.30am.
Katie Ormerod (pictured), 20, leads British hopes in the spectacular Big Air contest, new to the Olympics, as well as slopestyle which takes place on February 11 at 4.30am. can follow in her tracks
Closing Ceremony: February 25, from 11am to 1pm
Ivanka Trump was among the spectators as the games comes to an end. The party is expected to be another tribute to South Korean culture. The Olympic torch will be handed over to the 2020 Summer Olympics host Tokyo.
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