Despite attempts to get them to stop by local authorities, restaurants specialising in dog meat in Pyeongchang will still serve their traditional delicacy while South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics.

Though they were offered subsidies in return for not selling the meat, only two of the county's 12 dog meat restaurants complied, said officials.

"We've faced a lot of complaints from restaurant operators that we are threatening their livelihood," Lee Yong-bae, a local government offical, told AFP.

Some of the restaurants had attempted a switch to other meats but found that sales fell dramatically, so they returned to dog. According to Lee, adverts for dog meat dishes have been replaced to avoid upsetting foreign visitors.

Though traditionally an acceptable meat in Korea, young Koreans are turning away from it.

"Some people say that dog eating is Korean culture but you won't find many young people who feel it's a cultural habit we want to hold on to," said one anti-dog meat campaigner.

Humane Society International's Nara Kim was speaking after the charity said it had saved the lives of almost 150 dogs by intervening in dog farms across the country.

"It's intellectually lazy to use culture as an excuse for cruelty because all cultures evolve over time and we often shed practices of the past," Kim said.

"We are hopeful that things will change, and that the new Korean president will advance a new culture of compassion to animals."

Those dogs saved in July were flown to shelters across the US in the hopes of uniting them with a family that could give them a new life as a pet. "I am so happy that for these dogs the dog meat trade is over, but we have to fight on for the millions who are still suffering," Kim added.