Vienna, 31 October 2023 – The virtual 'Run For Millions' event took place from April to October 2023, to raise awareness and give people a way to show their support for ending the dog and cat meat trade in Vietnam with nearly 17,000 participants running over a staggering 2.6m km, which is the equivalent to running around the world sixty-six times.
This is the first virtual run event for dogs and cats ever held in Vietnam.
As part of various efforts to fight against the dog and cat meat trade in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, the virtual 'Run for Millions' event was launched by FOUR PAWS on 27 April as an opportunity for the public to continue showing their support towards ending the dog and cat meat trade, and at the same time, inspire an active and healthy lifestyle.
With the tagline “every step is a hope”, this was a free registration event for people living and working across Vietnam. FOUR PAWS also rewarded top runners with gifts and tote bags every month. Upon registration, participants could choose to run or walk accumulated distances of 42km, 60km, 100km, 150km and 200km within six months. Each individual's progress was recorded after each completion, and they accumulated a monthly total over six months.
Dr Karanvir Kukreja, Head of Companion Animal Campaigns Southeast Asia for FOUR PAWS, said: “Over the past three years, we have seen more and more people in Vietnam speaking out against the dog and cat meat trade, and this is the latest example of people taking time and effort to show their concerns about the trade and their support for an end to it. Along with the other progress we have seen against the trade – including the closure of slaughterhouses and localities, such as Hoi An committing to phase out the trade – it is obvious that it is time for the government of Vietnam to really look at the dog and cat meat trade and the risk that it poses."
“The success of the virtual 'Run for Millions' once again shows that the majority of Vietnamese do not want to see this brutal trade in Vietnam. We hope the Vietnamese government can consider taking action and strengthening law enforcement to phase out the dog and cat meat trade.”
Dr Karanvir Kukreja, FOUR PAWS Head of Companion Animal Campaigns Southeast Asia
Previously, from December 2021 to July 2022, FOUR PAWS launched the "This is not Vietnam" campaign to show the Vietnamese people's opposition to the trade in dogs and cats for meat consumption with more than 33,000 letters were sent to the Deputy Prime Minister. Also, in September this year, FOUR PAWS celebrated the milestone of two million people worldwide (including more than 250,000 Vietnamese citizens) signing an international petition calling for an end to this trade. The impressive numbers achieved from the virtual 'Run for Millions' event proves that public awareness of animal welfare as well as opposition to the cruel dog and cat meat trade is significantly increasing in Vietnam.
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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