Although not as common as it used to be, dog meat is mainly consumed by the elderly and is served in some restaurants and can be purchased in specific markets.
Moon made the remarks after being briefed by Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on efforts to improve the management of abandoned animals and a mandatory registration system for dogs.
“After the briefing, he said it was time to carefully consider imposing a dog meat ban,” Moon spokeswoman Park Kyung-mee said in a statement.
This was the first time Moon has lifted a ban, which should give new impetus to the debate over whether to restrict the practice.
To increase their popularity, several presidential candidates have pledged to ban dog meat in recent weeks, especially as dogs have become popular as pets and advocacy groups have urged South Korea to close restaurants and markets selling dog meat.
Lee Jae-myung, governor of the country’s most populous Gyeonggi province and one of Moon’s top presidential candidates, has pledged to push for a ban by social consensus.
But Yoon Seok-youl, an opposition frontrunner, said it was a matter of personal choice.
A poll commissioned by animal welfare group Aware released this month found that 78% of respondents believe the production and sale of dog and cat meat should be banned and 49% favored a ban on consumption.
However, another survey by polling firm Realmeter found people were divided over whether the government should ban the consumption of dog meat, although 59% supported legal restrictions on the slaughter of dogs. for human consumption.
The dog meat sellers insisted on the right to their occupation, saying their livelihoods were threatened.