Dog Meat Trade September 2016

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the dog meat trade.

As you are aware, in many parts of Asia - particularly China, the Philippines, Vietnam and South Korea - it is culturally acceptable to eat dog meat.

However, dogs used for meat are often kept in terrible conditions and I share your concern about the barbaric nature of this trade and the inhumane way in which so many innocent animals are treated in its production. I therefore welcome the work of organisations such as Humane Society International in raising awareness of this issue.

As you are aware, there was a Backbench Business debate in the House of Commons on 5 November 2015 which called for an immediate end to dog meat trade cruelty and called on the Chinese government to stop the Yulin dog meat festival where thousands of dogs are cruelly bound, confined, trucked and slaughtered for meat each year. I supported the Backbench Business motion, which was agreed to in the House of Commons without a vote. 

There was also a Westminster Hall debate on 12 September 2016 where it was agreed that the Government would “press for change” to end the cruel trade, in South Korea particularly, where inhumane dog farming practices are rife. I very much welcome such an approach.

The Government point out that in the absence of international laws governing the trade and consumption of dog meat, the UK has no legal grounds to intervene or take trade measures against countries where the consumption of dog meat is regarded as culturally acceptable. 

While the Government cannot legislate beyond the UK, I hope it will continue to use diplomatic and other opportunities to ensure these cruel and hazardous practices are brought to an end and that it will press counterparts around the world to collaborate in efforts to change attitudes and reduce animal suffering.

Thank you once again for contacting me and for sharing your views. I will continue to advocate on behalf of this issue, and I hope that the Government will carefully consider the points that were made during the recent debate and listen to the concerns that have been raised about this important issue.