I’m proud that Britain is a nation of dog lovers. As an owner of two rather spoiled Labradors, I view the trade and consumption of dog meat as quite abhorrent, particularly where it involves cruelty to animals.
That is why I’m glad that, while the Government recognises the difficulty in standing against countries where eating dog meat is culturally accepted, it has continued to try to influence those countries. There have often been accusations against countries in Asia of cruel treatment towards animals, and the Government has made it clear that there can be no place for cruel or inhumane practices anywhere.
The former Foreign Office Minister, James Duddridge MP, vowed on the topic:
“We will continue to raise these important issues in the most effective way possible, which is not always through megaphone diplomacy, although sometimes speaking loudly is needed. Where it is needed, we are prepared to speak loudly.”
I am glad to know that the Government is speaking on behalf of the British people on this issue.
I also warmly welcome the work that non-governmental organisations such as Animal Asia Foundation, the Humane Society International, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals do in Asian countries to protect dogs’ welfare.
An important part of the battle is to convince people to care about animal welfare and change their own behaviour. Thanks in large measure to these organisations’ activism, as well as the British Government’s consistent influence, dog meat consumption is declining in several countries across the region.