Defenders of dog-eating speak up

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Defenders of dog-eating speak up

At last, a bipartisan issue to unite Korea's squabbling politicians.

Representative Kim Hong-shin of the opposition Grand National Party announced Thursday that high-profile figures from all walks of Korean life are signing onto his campaign with the slogan "Hands-Off on Eating Dog Meat."

He said that a petition drive had enlisted 166 people, including National Assembly representatives and members of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions.

Noh Mu-hyun, senior adviser of the governing Millennium Democratic Party, MDP Representatives Kim Hee-sun, Shim Jae-kwon and Kim Seong-ho, GNP Representatives Kim Won-wung, Suh Sang-suhp and Choung Byoung-gug, the poet Kim Ji-ha and the movie star Moon Sung-keun were among those who denounced what the petition called intolerant criticism of Western countries on the Korean custom of eating dogs.

They declared that canine cuisine is a tradition in Korea and that Western criticism is an "insult," based on a failure to understand Korean culture. But they said they would seek legal guidelines to prevent cruelty to dogs.

MDP Representative Ham Seung-huie said that legislators are considering harsher penalties on violators of the Animal Protection Act.

by Lee Soo-ho

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