Many animal welfare charities have drawn attention to the often horrific conditions in which dogs are kept for the dog meat trade. The SNP at Westminster has raised the issue of the dog meat trade in Asia, condemning the cruel treatment of these animals and pledging support for charities working with the international community to improve dog welfare globally.
Although the dog meat trade still exists in South Korea, there has been some progress. Seoul has passed a regulation classifying dog meat as “repugnant food”;, and South Korea’s Animal Protection Amendment Act of 2007 expressly prohibits some of the cruel methods used by people in the dog meat trade to handle and slaughter dogs. It is also encouraging that there is evidence the consumption of dog meat is decreasing among the younger generations in South Korea. But it is clear more needs to be done.
We must be aware of the cultural sensitivities surrounding the eating of meat in countries such as China and South Korea. It is important that animal rights groups on the ground in South Korea are supported in taking action against the dog meat trade in a culturally sensitive and educational manner. A way forward for bringing about change is to encourage effective implementation of existing laws in South Korea, and spread awareness of the often horrific conditions dogs are kept in for the meat trade.
Above all the SNP Government in Scotland take the welfare and animals extremely seriously, and will continue to champion animals rights in Holyrood and Westminster.