South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said there might be a need to prohibit dog meat consumption amid debate over the controversial practice and growing awareness of animal rights.

While no longer as common as before, dog meat is eaten mainly by older people and is served in some restaurants and can be bought at specific markets.

Moon’s spokeswoman Park Kyung-mee said that Moon made the remarks after being briefed by Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on efforts to improve the handling of abandoned animals and a mandatory registration system for dogs.

It was the first time that Moon raised a ban, which is likely to give fresh momentum to debate over whether to curtail the practice.

Dog meat sellers have insisted on the right to their occupation, saying their livelihoods are at risk.

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