In fact, the practice of eating dog or cat meat is basically not against the rule, as well as people can have their rights to choose food sources according to their needs. It is similar to the way there are countries where people do not eat beef, or there are religions does not allow to eat pork. Because the practice is considered as part of culture, there is a large number of people that do not really enjoy this dog meat dish, but they strongly believe that it is the right of others to do so. However, in countries like Korea, Vietnam and China, where there is an apparent contradiction between the needs of pet meat eaters and those of animal lovers, the role of legislation has become more significant than ever. If one day the same scenario happens with duck or chicken (perhaps keeping them as pet will be popularised at some point in the future), it would be necessary to apply sets of social rules and governmental legislation to balance those needs. Initially, pets like cat and dog should be considered as personal assets hence the act of stealing pets will be put to serious trial. This hopefully can help improving the situation.
Korea seems to be the most ethical one among the three countries when it comes to the practice of eating pet meat. In Korean language, there are two different terms that distinguish “pet dog” and those dogs are used for meat. Unlike in China and Vietnam, where most consumed dog meat is derived from stolen pets, there are many official dog farms such as Nureongi or Hwangu. This by-product, in fact, helps preventing individual pets from illegally getting caught by thieves, while ensures food safety for those eaters. But still, these dog farms have raised other issues of sanitary and how the dogs are treated. Dog meat has no legal status as food in this country, so these farms take place in a legal grey area. As a result, there are no regulations requiring the human slaughter of dogs for meat.
Perhaps this is not the most significant issues within a nation or a society, but as there have been several cases reported that dog and cat thieves were beaten into death by the pet owner and surrounding villagers, there is a strong need for the government to initiate more effective legislations towards the pet meat eating practice.