By Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor
Published: 15th September 2019, 22:00
Updated: 16th September 2019, 2:22
A NEW legal ban on eating dogs has been blocked by Justice Ministry bureaucrats for fear of offending cultural sensitivities in the Far East.
Environment ministers have drawn up a new criminal offence in Britain of possessing dog and cat meat.
Former DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove ordered the move in the summer despite the sickening practice being rare in the UK.
Dog groups persuaded him that it would send a powerful message to South East Asian countries where the practice is still rife, matching a similar law passed in the US last year.
But The Sun can reveal that nervous civil servants have stepped in to halt the ground-breaking move.
Campaigning Tory MP Giles Watling was told by the MoJ that one of the reasons it acted was that it would be “culturally insensitive” of the Government to dictate to other nations what they should eat.
Mr Watling told The Sun last night: “Dogs are our companion animals. We do not eat them, and that is a very important message to send to the rest of the world.
“It’s not culturally insensitive because we’re not telling them what to do – we’re just telling them what we do.”
“We shouldn’t be worrying about that, so I was surprised that was the MoJ’s objection.”
Justice officials also argued that it would be difficult to enforce the law and the current ban on transporting or exporting dog and cat meat suffices.
Eating dog is already banned in Germany, Austria, Taiwan, South Australia and Hong Kong.
An estimated 30 million dogs a year are slaughtered to be eaten, across China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Most are stolen off the street.
Their meat it is considered both a delicacy and a health tonic.
The World Dog Alliance mounted a campaign in the UK last year for a full ban on any activity relating to the eating of dogs.
A series of MPs back a ban, including former Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan who dubbed it “a disgusting habit”.
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “We currently have some of the strongest animal welfare laws in the world.”
“The government is currently considering whether any changes are needed in this are in the UK and will set out any plans in due course.”