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Animal Protection Laws in Thailand, Vietnam and China

Volume 573: debated on Tuesday 7 January 2014

The Petition of residents of Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill,

Declares that any torture and eating of cats and dogs in Thailand, Vietnam and China is unacceptable; further that the practices in place in Thailand, Vietnam and China cause unnecessary stress and harm to the cats and dogs involved; and further that these practices are a cause of concern for the British and Scottish athletes who will be attending the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

The Petitioners therefore request that the UK Government urges the governments of Thailand, Vietnam and China to strengthen and enforce their animal protection laws and further requests that the House urges the Government to consider incoming visits from the governments of these countries.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Tom Clarke, Official Report, 19 November 2013; Vol. 570, c. 1202.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:

The British Government take seriously reports of animal cruelty throughout the world and are committed to raising standards of animal welfare at home and abroad. The UK is at the forefront of international animal protection efforts. We welcome the work undertaken by non-governmental organisations, such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare, PETA and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This includes the work they do, for example, with the Chinese authorities to improve standards of animal welfare and to gradually build support for animal welfare issues in China.

While the UK cannot intervene directly in the protection of wildlife abroad, we have raised our concerns on specific animal welfare issues with the Chinese authorities. We are aware of the illegal smuggling of dogs from Thailand for consumption in Vietnam. In April 2012 an Animal Welfare Bill drawn up with the involvement of the Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was submitted to the Thai Parliament, and is now going through the legislative process. In October 2012 the Bill passed its First Reading, and the Bill has since passed the Committee stage.