SEOUL, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Animal rights groups held protests against dog meat consumption on Thursday in Seoul.
More than 200 people attended the protest, including animal rights activists, lawmakers and singers, to call for putting an end to dog meat trade, Yonhap reported.
The protest was held on Thursday, considered as the last hottest day of summer, according to the traditional lunar calendar. Eating dog meat has long been considered a seasonal ritual in South Korea to spend hot days of summer as people believe it will help them beat the summer heat.
As more households have dogs for pets, a growing number of people are opposing dog meat consumption.
Animal rights groups have called the way dog farms raise and slaughter dogs "unethical."
"The society shifts toward the end of dog meat consumption. Let's gather our voices to change our society," said the Korean Animal Welfare Association at the protest, according to Yonhap.
The animal rights groups met with a counter-protest staged by the Korean Dog Meat Association, calling for legalizing the dog meat trade.
"Ban on dog meat trade is the declaration to swipe off livestock farmers," the group said.
"The animal rights groups falsely have claimed that dogs raised for meat are illegal and we call an immediate investigation on their false claims," it said.