South Korean dogmeat proponents unveiled plans to deploy an academic dubbed "Doctor dogmeat" to counter foreign critics and popularize canine cuisine in the run up to this year's World Cup football finals.

A group of 100 dogmeat restaurant owners will set up a nationwide federation next Monday in a city on the outskirts of Seoul to outline plans to promote the meat to foreign tourists before and during the World Cup period, they said.

"The new federation will promote the eating of dogmeat during the international event period by designating poshintang restaurants near World Cup stadiums as special places to serve foreign visitors," said Choi Han-kwon, director of the 21st Century Startup Research Institute which is behind the grouping.

Dogs are bred to be eaten in South Korea, notably in poshintang, literally "body preservation stew," which advocates say is good for your health and which is considered a delicacy by some.

The eating of dogmeat in Korea has caused particular alarm abroad and among animal rights activists in South Korea ahead of the 2002 World Cup soccer finals, as some dogs are beaten, burnt or hanged to make their meat more tender.