While animal activists, dog advocates and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) continue to hound China's absurd and controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival, Britain's legal ban on eating dog and cat meat was recently blocked by the Ministry of Justice.

In the summer, Michael Gove pushed for a new law that made it the possession of dog and cat meat in the U.K. a criminal offense.

The order was moved by the former Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Secretary despite the “sickening practice being rare” in the island nation. Among others, he was persuaded by several dog groups that the move would send a “powerful message” to South East Asian countries where the consumption of dog meat is still on their tradition.

Dog Meat Yulin Summer Solstice
Most of the dogs that are killed during the Yulin summer solstice festival were stolen from their owners. Marc Ching/ Animal Hope and Wellness

However, one source reported that “nervous civil servants” stopped the “ground-breaking move,” fearing that it might offend countries that are open to the eating dog meat.

The Sun said the Ministry of Justice saw the move to be “culturally insensitive” if the Government dictates other nations what they should and should not eat.

“Dogs are our companion animals. We do not eat them,” said Giles Watling in the wake of the Ministry's statement. The Parliament Member pointed that should the move was approved, it would be a “very important message” that they would be sending to the rest of the world.

In addition, Watling doesn't see the approval to be “culturally insensitive” considering that it would not tell other nations “what to do,” but it's a way of “telling them what we do.”

If Watling was in utter surprise, officials from the Justice Ministry shared their insights by saying that the it would be difficult to “enforce the law” if it adds to the current ban on transporting or exporting dog and cat meat.

It is known that it is not illegal to kill dogs nor to consume their meat in the United Kingdom for as long as the animal does not suffer in the process. Despite no legal consequences, the U.K. has had its fair share of protests against the practice that it even reached the attention of the Prime Minister.

The recent move to ban the consumption of dog meat was supposed to follow the United States' effort to totally eliminate the import, trade and consumption of the animal's meat. It was even approved by Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan, who said that the full was “absolutely right” and that there is no need in the today's modern world for the “disgusting habit.”