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Shropshire MP calls on Government to confront Vietnam over cruel dog meat trade

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Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard is urging the Government to confront Vietnam over its booming trade in dog meat.

He is also urging county dog lovers to write to the Vietnamese Embassy in London over the trade, which sees seven tonnes of live animals crammed into trucks and brought to the capital Hanoi each day to be slaughtered for restaurants.

Thousands of pets are stolen from gardens and front porches every year to feed the appetites of diners who treat dog meat as a delicacy. Mr Pritchard – who is well-known for supporting animal rights causes – is urging the Government to raise the issue when Hugo Swire, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, travels to Vietnam next week for meetings with his counterpart.

The Wrekin MP, who has also spoken out against circus animals, said the cruelty of the dog trade was damaging Vietnam's reputation abroad.

"Whilst I acknowledge that different cultures may treat their animals and in this case their dogs differently, and may even eat them, there is no excuse for effectively torturing any animal as part of the slaughter process," he said.

"Boiling dogs 'alive' is completely unacceptable. The Vietnamese government needs to take immediate action to stop these unbelievable acts of cruelty. I encourage all Shropshire dogs owners to write to the Vietnamese Embassy in London and protest."

Mr Pritchard raised the issue in the House of Commons earlier this week.

But Mr Swires told him the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat in Vietnam is legal.

"In the absence of international norms, laws or agreements governing the trade and consumption of dog meat, it is a matter for the authorities in each country to introduce and enforce the necessary legislation to end the ill treatment of animals," he added.

"However, the UK takes seriously reports of animal cruelty throughout the world and is committed to raising standards of animal welfare at home and aboard. I will make my views known during my forthcoming visit to Vietnam."

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