LONDON – 20th May, 2020; In Cambodia tourism accounts for nearly 33% of its GDP as 4.6million tourists visit the country. An additional 28 million tourists visit Vietnam and Indonesia each year. But, with research from global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS revealing 56% of those polled* claiming they would avoid travelling to anywhere in which the dog and cat meat trade was occurring, the arguments against the cruel trade continue to grow and pressure mounts to ban the sale and consumption once and for all.
Whilst widely described as the most pressing companion animal concern of our times, 79% of those polled support a ban of the trade in which all aspects feature unacceptable levels of cruelty. In addition over 700,000 people around the globe have signed a petition echoing this call for change. It is this support that FOUR PAWS is taking to local governments across Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam to end the trade. Today another supporter has joined the calls for an end; The Different Travel Company has pledged it’s support to help protect millions of dogs and cats across Southeast Asia.
The Different Travel Company is the first tour operator to pledge its support to the life changing campaign and as FOUR PAWS UK Head of Programmes Emily Wilson says “We are very grateful that The Different Travel Company shares our vision of a world where dogs and cats across Southeast Asia should be safe from the threat of this cruel trade. We recognise the importance that tourism plays to Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam and strongly believe that by educating tour operators and in due course tourists, we can play a significant role in ending this trade.”
With the outbreak of COVID-19, more people are aware than ever before of the health risks associated with live animal trades. The dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, with its illegal capture of pet and strays, cross-border transport, and cross-species exposure at live animal markets, provides perfect conditions to expose people and other animals to deadly diseases. It also particularly undermines rabies eradication efforts in the region. In addition pet ownership has continued to grow in Southeast Asia, putting more animals at risk.
The Different Travel Company founder, Sarah Burgess, said: “We pride ourselves on offering something different to travellers in search of overseas challenges and have always been strong advocates of responsible travel.We firmly believe in the work FOUR PAWS’ are doing to end the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia and are delighted to pledge our support to this campaign. Having seen the work the organisation has achieved to date, we are certain that we can help make a difference to the lives of millions of dogs and cats and finally put an end to this cruel trade.”
Emily concludes: “We all have the chance to play a role in ending this cruel trade and today is another step closer in ensuring we can protect millions of dogs and cats.”
Find out more about the campaign and sign the petition at http://bit.ly/enddogandcatmeattrade
Notes to editor;
*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2136 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th - 18th September 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
For all press enquiries contact: Hannah Baker – Head of Communications FOUR PAWS UK
07966 032 235 / Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions, as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, Hungary, the UK, the USA and Vietnam, as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org.uk