Football’s governing body, FIFA, calls on South Korea, co-hosts of next year’s World Cup, to end canine torture

FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, is putting pressure on South Korea to stop cruelty to animals, in particular the practise of torturing, then eating dogs.

In an open letter to FIFA, vice present and president of South Korea’s football association, Dr Chung Mong-Joon, Mr Blatter refers to the thousands of letters FIFA has received from the general public in protest at the manner in which dogs and cats are mistreated – apparently in open contravention of existing laws.

He calls on Dr Chung to take “immediate and decisive measure to put an immediate end to this cruelty”.

Mr Blatter says not only are the animals were being harmed, but so too is South Korea’s international image.

He believes the World Cup would “serve as an appropriate moment for South Korea to show the world that it is sensitive to vociferous world-wide public opinion and that it rejects cruelty”.

Dr Chung has responded, saying his country’s World Cup organising committee has held a series of meetings with government officials and that a joint investigation has been setup to establish a more effective system to prevent animal abuse.

In South Korea, dogs are still bred specifically for human consumption. They are kept in cages and most are executed by electric shock.

South Korea will co-host the 64-match World Cup finals with Japan from 31 May to 30 June 2002.