Morley and Outwood MP and “animal lover” Andrea Jenkyns will lead a Westminster Hall debate on the issue on Wednesday, and praise the UK’s love for its “faithful companions”.
She will tell Parliament: “Sadly, across much of the world, the poor quality of animal welfare regulations and legislation mean that millions of animals, including dogs and cats, continue to suffer needlessly. Despite the companionship, loyalty and trust they show us, every year millions of dogs and cats are killed around the world, not because they are suffering, but simply so that people can consume their meat.”
Calling the treatment of animals involved in the market “barbaric”, she will add: “The dog and cat meat trade is, in my view, a moral wrong in the world today, and one for which there is little defence.”
Ms Jenkyns - who is an animal welfare activist and vegetarian - told The Yorkshire Post that she wanted to bring the debate to Parliament after researching the Yulin dog meat festival in China.
“I’ve seen some of the footage and it’s absolutely shocking really,” she said.
“Animals are really kept in awful conditions and every year millions of dogs and cats are either bred or stolen for the purpose to be eaten by people.”
She added: “Clearly we don’t do this in the UK but I think that in Government it’s important that we highlight what other countries are doing and what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable and so that’s why I’m holding a debate on it.”
Ms Jenkyns said she believes the Government "has been leading more than any other on animal welfare" and that "we can start putting pressure on other countries" if the issue is discussed around the world, explaining: "I think that the more that countries can talk about this at governmental level the more it’s going to put pressure on countries, other countries that are actually embarking on such practice.”
Earlier this year it was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech that animal sentience will be recognised in law with the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, due before this Parliament.