While cases are rare, calls are mounting for a ban on the consumption of dog meat in the UK. Photo by iStock.

Animal rights groups have called on the United Kingdom to ban the consumption of dog meat amid rising concerns that Asian migrants may bring their canine-eating culture to the country.

Lisa Cameron, the chair of the All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group and a Scottish National Party MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, has demanded UK Prime Minister Theresa May make eating dog meat illegal to sustain the UK’s position as a leader in animal welfare.

Cameron was quoted as saying in a BBC Newsbeat report that she does not think other political parties would be against the ban.

Although there have been minimal cases of dog meat being consumed in the UK, Cameron stated that the UK government has to suppress the practice before it develops.

The World Dog Alliance (WDA), a Hong Kong-based animal rights group, speculated that migrants from East Asia are subtly spreading dog meat consumption across Europe. The group will launch a campaign in the UK this fall calling for a ban.

“The commercial trade in dog meat in the UK is illegal, but we will look closely at the decision taken in the US,” May’s official spokesman said at a media briefing, adding that Britain has some of the highest animal welfare standards and would “wish to maintain that.”

in April, the House Agriculture Committee in the US approved adding an amendment to a farm bill that would bar people from “knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption,” as well as transporting or participating in other commercial activity related to eating pet meat, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier this week, the Indonesian government reportedly agreed to ban the trade in dog and cat meat. Animal rights activists hope other Asian countries such as China, South Korea and Vietnam will follow in Indonesia’s footsteps.

Read: Indonesia bans dog, cat meat trade to improve tourism image