DOG meat soup is being served in restaurants in the shadow of the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium – despite a government request to take the controversial dish off the menu.

The move has sparked outrage among animal rights campaigners and athletes, who are now rallying round to save millions of puppies from execution.

South Koreans are believed to eat about one million dogs a year as a summertime meal.

Activists have launched several campaigns to ban dog consumption, with online petitions urging boycotts of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics over the issue, and protests in Seoul.

Canines including labradors and huskies are farmed and kept in cages then killed by electrocution before being boiled and turned into broth delacacies.

Among those campagning to save the helpless pups is Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel, who has adopted a miniature dachshund mix, saving the pooch from the Korean dog meat trade.

Posing with her beloved pet, Mootae, the two-time world champion said she's encouraging other athletes to adopt their own dogs from the country while she competes this year.

Duhamel, a Sochi silver medalist in the team event, is also planning to do more to undercut the dog meat industry on this trip to Korea with Humane Society International.

Additionally, she hopes to assist in shutting a farm or two once she's done competing.

She's also arranged with Park to fly home another rescued dog when she returns to Canada. This one, however, won't be coming all the way home with her.

She said:"I don't have the luxury of keeping another dog in my small condo," she said. "As much as I would love to."

Local authorities asked the 12 dog meat restaurants in Pyeongchang county to stop serving the food during the Games, in exchange for subsidies.

But only two have complied, Pyeongchang County government official Lee Yong-bae told AFP.

He said: "We've faced a lot of complaints from restaurant operators that we are threatening their livelihood.

"Some of them initially shifted to selling pork or things instead of dog meat only to find their sales plunging sharply. They then switched back to dog meat."

Signs advertising dog meat dishes such as boshintang (health-boosting soup), yeongyangtang (nutrient soup) or sacheoltang (year-round soup) have been replaced with more neutral ones such as yeomsotang (goat soup) to avoid giving "a bad impression to foreigners" during the Games, he added.

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Dog meat is officially classed as 'detestable' by Seoul, as is snake, but the designation has no legal ramifications.

South Korean authorities sporadically try to persuade restaurants to change their menus or drop signs suggestive of dog meat during major international events hosted by the country.

The tradition has declined as the nation increasingly embraces the idea of dogs as pets instead of livestock, with eating them now something of a taboo among young South Koreans.

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