Eating dog meat should be banned in the UK to help end an “unspeakably cruel trade involving animal torture”, an MP has urged.
Conservative Bill Wiggin said that creating the new offence would send a message to other countries such as China, where more than 10 million dogs are killed for food every year.
“Luckily, there is no evidence that dogs are eaten in the UK,” the North Herefordshire MP said, introducing his 10 minute rule bill to the House of Commons. “Yet due to the vile way in which dogs are treated in China, I’d like our country to join in setting an example to the world.
“This is because China argues that until we make it illegal, why should they.”
Around 30 million dogs are eaten every year around the world, and the dog meat industry is worth up to $273m (£209m), the MP said.
Many dogs are slaughtered for market in a “deliberately cruel” way, including bludgeoning, hanging, boiling, skinning and blowtorching alive, he added.
“It is believed that inflicting suffering raises the animal’s adrenaline levels, tenderising the meat, and adding medical properties,” Mr Wiggin said. “Many consumers believe it has medicinal value and believe it brings good fortune, yet none of these alleged health benefits have any scientific basis.”
Between 1997 and 2017, 450 tonnes of dog meat were imported to Japan, he added.
The USA, Germany, Austria, South Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong have already banned dog meat consumption. However, it is not illegal in the UK.
Mr Wiggin’s bill would make it an offence to consume dog meat or transport, possess or donate dog meat for the purpose of consumption and for connected purposes.
It passed to second reading unopposed and will return to the Commons on 22 March.
However it is unlikely to progress any further without government support.
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