A South Korean People Power Party official said the country aims to ban eating dog meat and put an end to the controversy around it amid growing awareness of animal rights.“It is time to put an end to social conflicts and controversies around dog meat consumption through the enactment of a special act to end it,” said South Korean People Power Party Policy Chief Yu Eui-Dong at a Friday meeting covered by Reuters. The South Korean practice of eating dogs has drawn criticism from overseas for its cruelty, but there has been increasing opposition at home from younger generations. Yu said the South Korean government will introduce a bill this year to enforce a ban, adding with expected bipartisan support, it should pass. South Korean Agriculture Minister Chung Hwang-Keun said the government would implement a ban soon and provide the maximum possible support for people in the dog meat industry to close their businesses. South Korean First Lady Kim Keon Hee has been a vocal critic of dog meat consumption, and she and her husband Yoon Suk Yeol have adopted stray dogs. Anti-dog meat bills have failed in the past because of protests by those involved in the industry and worry about the livelihoods of farmers and restaurant owners. The proposed ban would include a three-year grace period and financial support for businesses to transition out of the trade. Eating dog meat has been an ancient practice in South Korea and is seen as a way to beat the summer heat. This ordeal comes after a Japanese village started selling bear meat in vending stations in April — the first of its kind in the country.READ MORE: Japan begins sale of bear meat from vending machinesBear meat joined the unusual items found in Japanese vending machines, such as whale meat, snails in a can and edible insects.It is sold for $22.50 per 250g packet and can be located near the entrance to Japanese store Tazawako Ichi.