[OLY] Dutch speed skater apologizes for dog meat comment

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-02-22 17:41 Updated : 2018-02-22 17:41
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[Jan Blokhuijsen's Twitter]

SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Aju News) -- Dutch speed skater Jan Blokhuijsen apologized for his comment on apparent dog meat consumption, a controversial issue which has caused international criticism and catcalls, hurting the pride of Koreans.

After the Netherlands captured a bronze medal in the men's team pursuit Wednesday, Blokhuijsen told reporters in a brief news conference, "Please treat dogs better in this country." His comment triggered an angry response from some South Koreans.

"I want to apologize to the Korean people. It was not my intention to insult you and your country. I care about the welfare of animals," he tweeted.

In a reply, "yujicho", a Korean Twitter user, said, "Same with me. Animal abusing or eating dogs is NEVER majority in Korea. But Jan said "TREAT DOGS BETTER IN THIS COUNTRY" with his petty minds and some of racism. Moreover, he never deserve to defame other culture. He even know anything about it."

The Dutch delegation chief extended a separate apology. "I would like to offer my apology on the behalf of the Dutch Olympics for what happened and what he said," chef de mission Jeroen Bijl said in a press conference. "We do respect the culture, people in Korea and the country of Korea."

Eating dogs have settled as a Korean tradition for ages, but the population of eating dog meat has dropped dramatically in recent years thanks to an active campaign by animal lovers. Dog meat lovers and restaurants claim that eating dog is nothing different from eating beef, pork, or horse meat.

Activists want a complete halt to the deep-rooted practice because dogs are bred in meat farms and slaughtered in a cruel and unhygienic way. They claimed about three million dogs have been butchered and sold to dealers and restaurants every year, urging South Korea to join a group of Asian countries such as Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand which have officially opposed dog meat sales.

The current law prohibits butchering an animal in front of other animals and requires quickest and painless methods in butchering. Dog meat farms and slaughter yards are not subject to the Sanitary Control of Livestock Products Act because dogs are not defined as livestock for consumption. dogs are kept in cages and animal lovers slammed brutal methods like electrocution and hanging to slaughter them.