Bill Wiggin MP: The UK must join in the international condemnation of the 'unspeakably cruel' dog meat trade

Posted On: 
20th February 2019

Eating dog meat fuels an "unspeakably cruel trade involving animal torture" in China, writes Conservative MP Bill Wiggin, but until we make it illegal why should they?

This week I introduced the following Ten Minute Rule Bill to make it an offence to consume dog meat and to transport, possess or donate dog meat for the purpose of consumption; and for connected purposes: Dog Meat (Consumption) (Offences) Bill

Tragically, 30 million dogs are eaten every year around the world. Over 10 million are slaughtered in China.

Over 450 tonnes of dog meat were imported to Japan between 1997 and 2017.

The dog slaughter industry is worth between 220–273 million U.S. dollars.

Eating dog meat has longstanding cultural significance in many East Asian countries. Many consumers believe it to have medicinal value and bring good fortune.

Yet none of these alleged health benefits have any scientific basis. Instead, eating dog meat fuels an unspeakably cruel trade involving animal torture.

Happily there is no evidence that dog meat is eaten in the UK, but China argue that until we make it illegal why should they? Due to the vile way in which these dogs are treated, I would like our country to join in setting an example to the world.

It is of particular importance to do this as the method of slaughter is deliberately cruel.

The animals are made to suffer brutally in the belief that raised adrenaline levels caused by pain improve the quality of the meat.

Therefore this bill is not just about consuming dogs but about the extra suffering and cruelty involved.

The animal protection organisation Humane Society International has reported the appalling conditions that these dogs are subjected to.

Usually forced into tiny cages, many dogs suffer broken limbs as they are transported vast distances often without food or water.

Poor sanitation, parasite infestations and disease outbreaks spread quickly in these crowded conditions.

Injured, dehydrated and exhausted, the dogs which are still alive then face unspeakably cruel deaths.

Routine methods of slaughter include:- Bludgeoning, hanging, boiling, skinning and blow-torching alive. The dogs are then consumed.

If the animal cruelty was not bad enough, the human suffering caused by this trade cannot go unnoticed.

In China, an estimated 70% of dogs slaughtered for consumption are stolen pets. Anybody whose pet has gone missing knows of the worry and fear for the future of that loved pet, anguish and concern over what has happened.

At least in the UK we know our missing dogs won’t be eaten.

In China, Dog-snatching gangs are hired by butchers to supply cheap animals. Increasingly bold, these gangs are often armed with machetes and Tasers.

The dog meat trade normalises violence and fuels both animal and human abuse.

"The dog meat trade normalises violence and fuels both animal and human abuse."

For the sake of the tortured animals, victims of crime and exploited workers, it is vital that the UK takes steps to end this cruel industry.

Two months ago, a ban on the human consumption of dog meat was passed in the United States, following Germany, Austria, South Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

My Ten Minute Rule Bill and Giles Watling MP’s amendment to the Agriculture Bill show how the UK Government could join these countries in taking a stand against animal cruelty by bringing in a ban.

Making it an offence to consume dog meat and to transport, possess or donate dog meat for the purpose of consumption, would highlight our Country’s commitment to outlawing the practice globally, and cement the UK as a champion of animal welfare.