Dog meat consumption in French Polynesia reflects a complex cultural and geographic situation, says an animal protection group in Tahiti.
The group, ARPAP, said food deliveries in the Tuamotus were rare and people who did not want to eat fish at times ate dog meat, but that practice applied to only a small minority.
The statement comes in response to an open letter by former French actress Brigitte Bardot to the French High Commissioner expressing dismay at reports that dog meat was consumed by politicians, officials and even police officers.
The French High Commission and the French Polynesian government are yet to comment.
Another animal welfare group has told the AFP news agency that the authorities won't respond, because eating dog meat is seen as cultural and something done by the poor in remote places.
A group member, who wished to remain anonymous, said while most people shun dog meat, there were some who sold the meat through small shops.
Another group said there was a dog eating mafia, who kill stray dogs and sell their meat.
Bardot has said that it was shameful that in a French territory, a global tourism paradise, the trade and practice had continued under the very nose of the authorities.