Vietnam, 29 July, 2022 – Last December FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation, wrote a letter to the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister, His Excellency Vu Duc Dam, calling for an immediate end to the dog and cat meat trade. This letter has now been signed and supported by 33,000 Vietnamese citizens and residents through the “This is not Vietnam” campaign.
The call to end the dog and cat meat trade has also been amplified by over 40 major tourism companies, who have pledged their support. In addition, more than 1.6 million people have signed a global petition, and more than 24,000 international tourists have written to Vietnam’s National Tourism Board expressing their concerns about the trade.
To celebrate the success of the campaign, FOUR PAWS hosted an event in Hanoi with keynote speakers and virtually “handed over” expressions of these sentiments to the Vietnamese government.
“What we have seen over the past six months has been yet another incredible response from the Vietnamese people. This is yet another wave of calls for the immediate ban on the horrifying slaughter and sale of dogs and cats for their meat.
The trade has consequences not just for animals – but for people too, through its links to rabies. This abhorrent trade holds no place in a modern and multicultural society, such as Vietnam and the government cannot ignore the voices of the majority of its people. We are seeing in various localities, such as Hoi An in Vietnam, Siem Reap in Cambodia and numerous regencies in Indonesia, that the trade is being banned.
Change is coming and it is coming fast, and we urge the authorities to act immediately to protect humans and animals alike by ending the cruelty of an outdated trade.”
Dr Karanvir Kukreja, FOUR PAWS Head of Campaigns Southeast Asia (Companion Animals)
Attendees also signed a pledge board signifying their commitment, joining other key stakeholders and millions of people who have expressed their sentiment to end the trade.
Hoi An becomes Vietnam's first dog and cat meat friendly city.
A FOUR PAWS survey conducted in early 2021 across Vietnam found that the majority of Vietnamese want their government to take action, with a total of 91% saying the trade should be banned or discouraged. When asked if they would support a ban on the dog and cat meat trade, 88% of respondents said that they would be in favour of such a measure. In addition, respondents were asked if they felt the consumption of dog and cat meat was part of Vietnamese culture, with the resounding answer being no, with 95% indicating that this was not part of their culture.
Every year, an estimated 10 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.
The FOUR PAWS 2019 survey has shown only 6% of Vietnamese regularly consume dog and/or cat meat. Our 2021 surveys are also consistent with this. Additionally, the younger generation generally does not support the consumption of companion animals as an increasing number of people own pets. Furthermore, surveys conducted in late 2020/early 2021 found that the overwhelming majority of people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia would support a ban on the dog and cat meat trade.
Furthermore, FOUR PAWS supports local animal welfare organisations and communities with humane and sustainable stray animal care programmes. FOUR PAWS is also a member of several animal welfare coalitions: Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI), the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) and the Cats Matter Too coalition, which lobby against the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, as well as the Asia for Animals Coalition, which works to improve the welfare of all animals across Asia.
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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