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South Korean dog owners still enjoy dog soup

8/7/2006

SEOUL, South Korea — Man's best friend is still a tasty
dish to South Korean dog owners, according to a poll showing that
one in three canine lovers also eats dog soup.

More than 35 percent of dog owners said they eat the soup,
called boshintang in Korean, in a telephone poll of 500 people
conducted by KBS radio last week. The number is nearly the same as
non-dog owners who savor the dish, at some 37 percent.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage
points.

Dog meat is widely consumed in South Korea, especially on the
three hot "dog days" of summer on the lunar calendar. The
traditional belief is that dog meat helps boost stamina and
virility, but activists regularly criticize the practice and call
for bans on eating dog meat.

Some 85 percent of respondents said they had no problem with the
consumption of dog-meat soup, saying it is a personal matter and
part of Korean culture. Only 9 percent of those polled said the
consumption of dogs should be banned.