Prime Minister Theresa May is facing calls to ban the consumption of dog meat in the UK.
While it is illegal to buy or sell dog meat, under UK law it is technically legal, as long as you ‘own’ the animal and s/he is humanely killed.
SNP MP Dr. Lisa Cameron – Chair of the All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group – says she wants a full ban put in place. Foreign Office minister and Conservative MP Sir Alan Duncan has also said a ban would be ‘absolutely right’.
Rise in consumption
Dr. Cameron claims there has been an increase in the consumption of dog meat in the UK – however both the RSPCA and Humane Society International (HSI) say there is no evidence for this.
HSI spokesperson Wendy Higgins said: “[I] wouldn’t want anyone to think that dog meat eating is rife in the UK or that it has anything to do with the number of people that we have living in this country from Asia. Most people across Asia are united in wanting to see an end to the dog meat trade and I don’t see numbers of people from Asia in the United Kingdom having any impact on that whatsoever.”
Despite the lack of evidence, Dr. Cameron said: “The government has to take action on to nip it in the bud. I think it’s a concern if it is happening at all, no matter where it is happening. I’m not aware that it’s linked with any particular groups in terms of research outcome.”
The RSPCA put out a statement questioning the hypothetical legality of eating the meat, saying: “It is illegal to sell dog meat to the public in the UK. There are also no abattoirs that have a licence to kill dogs and it would be against slaughter and animal welfare legislation too.
“So, while dog meat eating is not specifically banned here these laws mean that there is effectively a ban on the practice.
“The RSPCA has no evidence that dog meat eating is on the rise in the UK, nor have we ever received any reports on this issue. While we do not believe it happens here, we continue to monitor the situation.”
Theresa May’s official spokesperson said: “The commercial trade in dog meat in the UK is illegal, but we will look closely at the decision taken in the US.
“Britain is a nation of animal lovers and we continue to have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world.
“We wish to maintain that.”