Dog and Cat Meat

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 21st February 2019.

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Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

If he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban the human consumption of dog and cat meat.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

It is abhorrent to think that our beloved cats and dogs could be eaten. As the Prime Minister said, it is illegal to sell dog and cat meat and there are no abattoirs with a licence to slaughter these animals in the UK. We recognise both the substantive and symbolic nature of the issues raised, and we are exploring what more can be done to address this matter and to send a clearer signal that the consumption of dogs and cats should never be tolerated.

Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

There are extensive restrictions in place on the commercial sale of dog meat for human consumption, and I understand that there are similar restrictions on cat meat. Despite those advances, amazingly, the private slaughtering of dogs and cats for private consumption is still legal in this country, and I want that to change. Does my hon. Friend agree that we need to extend the current restrictions to cover the private consumption of dog and cat meat, as my amendment to the Agriculture Bill sets out?

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

There is no evidence that dogs and cats are being consumed in the UK, although I understand and agree with the sentiment behind my hon. Friend’s amendment to the Agriculture Bill. A ban on consumption raises issues of enforcement and prosecution, but I have asked DEFRA officials to explore what more can be done to address these issues. I look forward to having the opportunity to debate these matters further in Westminster Hall this afternoon.