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Animal Charity

A FOUR PAWS statement

12.5.2020

A response to recent media around the dog and cat meat trade 

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under human influence, which reveals animal suffering regardless of the country in which it takes place. We operate in many different countries, because unfortunately animals suffer all over the world.  With offices and sanctuaries around the world, including Vietnam, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. We strongly reject the accusation of racism.  As a multi-national global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS stands for diversity.

Our local investigators conducted research throughout Southeast Asia in April 2020 to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected dog and cat meat trade sales and operations.

The investigations including photo and video material showed that in Vietnam, restaurants and stalls selling dog and cat meat continued to operate, markets and restaurants continued serving both raw and cooked dog meat, with multiple vendors reporting business being better than usual. In Vietnam specifically, investigators uncovered dog meat restaurants posting signs advertising dog meat to go, during the lockdown period when dine-in service was forbidden, as well as food delivery apps advertising the meats.

In Cambodia, vendors reported to the investigators increased sales due to the belief that dog meat warms the body, and is protective against diseases, including COVID-19. The notion that dog meat has a warming effect on the body has also been well documented throughout the region in market research studies conducted by FOUR PAWS in Jan-Mar 2019 (Cambodia) and May-Aug 2019  (Vietnam). In Indonesia, investigations conducted by the Dog Meat Free Indonesia Coalition determined the notorious Tomohon market to be in continued operation, slaughtering and selling cats and dogs as they had done prior to the pandemic.  

Although most local people in Southeast Asia oppose dog and cat meat, the trade in around ten million animals per year has continued to serve as a niche business. The rampant trade and live animal markets across Southeast Asia are not only an animal welfare issue but also a public health risk. If governments do not act now and shut down these cruel markets, the next global pandemic might originate in Vietnam, Cambodia or Indonesia. In order to put a sustainable end to the brutal dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, FOUR PAWS has launched a campaign on an international and national level.