US actress Kim Basinger and dozens of protesters rallied to condemn the consumption of dog meat in South Korea in front of the National Assembly in Seoul on Friday, on what marks a 'dog meat day' in the country.

Protesters wearing black stood by a pile of models of dog carcasses. They called for a ban on the slaughter of dogs.

Around 20 people held a counter-protest nearby, reportedly defending the tradition and calling for the continued legalisation of dog meat consumption.

The rallies took place on Chobok day, the first of three nonconsecutive days during which Koreans traditionally eat dog meat and other foods believed to provide energy and strength during the hottest time of the year.

According to the Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), between 780,000 and one million dogs are eaten each year in the country, though the custom has reportedly faded somewhat in recent years as the younger generations' views of dog meat have changed. A 2018 survey by animal rights group Last Chance for Animals reportedly found that 81.20 percent of the 1,000 Korean respondents had not eaten dog meat in the previous 12 months.

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