South Korea's President Moon Jae-In has been urged to end the brutal dog meat trade in his country.
Animal protection campaigners in Seoul hand-delivered a petition signed by nearly 1 million people globally to the President's residence, the Blue House.
The campaigners, from Humane Society International/Korea, Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), and petition site Care2 also gave him a letter urging him to initiate a phase-out of the estimated 17,000 dog meat farms across the country, in which an estimated 2.5 million dogs are reared for human consumption.
Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore have already outlawed the dog meat trade - with the Government of Indonesia recently pledging to do the same. Now campaigners want South Korea to join them.
According to campaigners, the Government agreed to remove dogs and cats from the legal definition of livestock on August 10, but HSI and KARA now want to see a time-tabled plan of action.
KARA’s director, Jin-kyung Jeon, said: "We welcome the recent announcement by the Blue House saying that the current law defining dogs as livestock is out of date and the Livestock Industry Act will be modified to remove dogs. Officials said the current law could give the wrong impression that the Government approves of breeding dogs for human consumption. This is a huge step forward since the current law has given legitimacy to dog farms in Korea."
Nara Kim, Dog Meat Campaign Manager for Humane Society International/Korea, said: "Our petition of nearly 1 million signatures reflects the desire of compassionate citizens here in South Korea and around the world to see an end to the brutally cruel dog meat industry.
"We hope that President Moon will agree that the time is right for South Korea to end this industry that causes so much animal suffering and is increasingly rejected by Korean citizens.
"We want South Korea to join the growing number of countries and territories across Asia that have consigned the dog meat trade to the history books."