updated 8/7/2006 4:06:38 AM ET 2006-08-07T08:06:38

Man's best friend is still a tasty dish to South Korean dog owners, according to a poll showing one in three canine-lovers also eats dog soup.

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More than 35 percent of dog owners said they eat the soup, called boshintang in Korean, in a telephone poll of 500 people conducted by KBS radio last week. The number is nearly the same as non-dog owners who savor the dish, at some 37 percent.

The survey had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

Dog meat is widely consumed in South Korea, especially on the three hot "dog days" of summer on the lunar calendar. The traditional belief is that dog meat helps boost stamina and virility, but activists regularly criticize the practice and call for bans on eating dog meat.

Some 85 percent of respondents said they had no problem with the consumption of dog-meat soup, saying it is a personal matter and part of Korean culture. Only 9 percent of those polled said the consumption of dogs should be banned.

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