In 2016, the World Dog Alliance (WDA) collected over 100,000 signatures from UK citizens to call on the government to address the issue of dog meat consumption in South Korea and urge the South Korean government to stop the dog meat trade. In just six months, the petition reached the threshold for a parliamentary debate. Eventually, after a four-hour debate, the Parliament passed a resolution that it would diplomatically engage with the South Korean government to end the consumption of dog meat. This resolution led directly to the closure of Mudan Market, the largest dog meat market in the country, on 12 December 2016.
Six years later, the WDA is keen to repeat history, hoping to use the diplomatic power of the UK to push for a ban on dog meat in Vietnam. Vietnam has always been a country where dog meat has been prevalent, and in 2014, when WDA’s Founder Genlin made the documentary Eating Happiness, he visited the country to find out what it was like, and was shocked to find dog meat restaurants all over the streets. The film crew also interviewed people who eat dog meat, which they described as a health tonic and an expensive food. It is an honour for them to kill their own dogs to serve guests when they come to their homes. It is therefore a matter of urgency for Vietnam to legislate against the consumption of dog meat. Although the government has always intended to ban dog meat, it has not been implemented.
The UK is a nation of animal lovers, as evidenced by the successful campaign to close the country’s largest dog meat market in South Korea in 2016. The WDA believes that the UK can once again exert its influence and that a dog meat ban in Vietnam is just around the corner. More importantly, with a new Prime Minister, the UK should launch the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats to demonstrate its status as the leader in animal welfare.