A call has gone out to Tauranga's mayor Greg Brownless to stand up against the dog meat trade in one of Tauranga's friendship cities.

An online international petition by Koreandogs.org, which operates in a similar fashion to Greenpeace, calls for "compassion through action" to stop the dog meat trade in South Korea and has asked Mr Brownless to tell Ansan, South Korea, that people are opposed to the torture and consumption of dogs and cats.

Mr Brownless said he was against cruelty to animals and humans and planned to discuss with councillors about potentially write to Ansan leaders, relaying the concerns felt in relation to its dog and cat meat trade.

However, he was unsure what difference it would make.

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"Of course I don't like the idea of animal cruelty or human cruelty for that matter.

"Whether my writing of a letter would make a difference, I don't know," Mr Brownless said.

The petition, which already has more than 1280 signatures, refers to Tauranga and Ansan each receiving mutual benefits in business and trade through the spirit of friendship.

The petition reads: "...we feel certain that your city would have hesitated to form such a Friendship City relationship had your city known about the aberrant and cruel practices routinely carried out in the dog and cat meat trades in Ansan and all over South Korea".

It stated Tauranga, as a friendship city, must take some social responsibility to urge Ansan to take action, "and to state that Tauranga and its citizens [sic] demand that Ansan issue an official document mandating that the following existing Korean laws be enforced by its government officials, police and judges".

Mr Brownless said he received about 10 emails on Friday about the petition and at least another 10 since.

He now planned to put the matter to councillors to potentially write to Ansan leaders, relaying the concerns felt in relation to its dog and cat meat trade.

According to the Korean Statistics Information Service, 892,820 dogs were being kept at more than 100,000 farms in 2010, the Korea Observer reported.

International Aid for Korean Animals also advocates the rights of animals, as is also vocal on the "atrocities" involving South Korea's dog meat market.

The petition has also been sent to some of the highest international authorities.

"I'm not sceptical of the petition. I think the cause is a valid one," Mr Brownless said.

"But they are perhaps overthinking that I can change something when the United Nationals and the British Parliament have had the same petition and don't seem to have achieved anything," Mr Brownless said.

Mr Brownless said friendship city ties were important to Tauranga and the city's education, business and trade sectors all reaped significant rewards from friendship cities, Mr Brownless said.