Hoi An, 5 December 2023 – Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS and the Hoi An People’s Committee today closed one of the city’s last remaining dog meat restaurants, saving hundreds of animals from being brutally killed and consumed every year. This latest closure marks a milestone since in 2021, FOUR PAWS signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Hoi An People’s Committee, agreeing to support them in phasing out the dog and cat meat trade to become a ‘tourist-friendly’ city.
Prior to its closure, the restaurant owned by Mr Pham Van Quyet regularly prepared and sold dog meat to local customers. Located in Cam Pho ward, in the popular tourist destination of Hoi An ancient city, the restaurant owner claimed to have previously served over 350 dogs per year. The Vietnamese owner, who had been operating in the area for over 10 years, agreed to work with Hoi An authorities to close his business, as he no longer wanted to be a part of the dog and cat meat trade. He was also keen to set a good example for the other dog meat traders in the area, as the oldest of the three remaining restaurants, in the hope that the others might follow. The restaurant in Hoi An ancient city – specialising in dog meat dishes – first came to the attention of the FOUR PAWS team prior to signing the MoU with Hoi An People’s Committee in 2021.
Closing this renowned dog meat restaurant was the conclusion of a successful collaboration and follows a wide range of activities completed across the two years. These have included mass sterilisation and vaccination drives, local authority training, and a public awareness campaign that saw billboards and LED screens positioned in prominent locations around the city highlighting the dangers of the dog and cat meat trade.
"When I heard about the FOUR PAWS and Hoi An People's Committee project, I felt I could contribute towards ending dog and cat meat trade in the city by closing my restaurant. I would encourage other restaurants to do the same," says Pham Van Quyet.
“This restaurant closure represents a positive step forward by Hoi An authorities to phase out the dog and cat meat trade. With many innocent animals being taken from the streets or stolen from their homes locally, we hope that taking dog meat off the menu permanently will protect the lives of thousands of animals in the future.”
Karen O’Malley, Dog and Cat Meat Trade Programme Manager at FOUR PAWS
Mr Nguyen The Hung, Vice Chairman of the Hoi An city People’s Committee, says: "Over the last two years, in collaboration with FOUR PAWS, we have successfully implemented a number of activities across Hoi An aimed at discouraging the dog and cat meat trade. While we know there is still work to do, this restaurant closure marks yet another step towards phasing out the dog and cat meat trade from our city, and we encourage other cities across Vietnam to do the same.”
FOUR PAWS has been working in Vietnam since 2019 to address the risks of the dog and cat meat trade. Every year, an estimated ten million dogs and cats are captured, transported, and slaughtered for their meat in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The majority of these animals are stolen pets or community and stray animals taken from the streets to supply the trade. The sheer scale of the trade and the involved suffering makes it one of the most severe companion animal welfare issues in Asia, if not the world. In addition, there are severe health implications – with links between the dog and cat meat trade and rabies, as well as conditions ripe for disease emergence.
More information on the FOUR PAWS campaign to end the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, can be found here: https://dogcatmeat.four-paws.org/
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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org