Vienna, 27 September 2022 – On World Tourism Day, global animal welfare organisation, FOUR PAWS, has brought together seventy-five major tourism businesses, to back its campaign to end the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia.
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.
By the end of 2022, the number of foreign tourists to the Southeast Asian countries is anticipated to increase by 4.72 percent from 129.2 million in 2018 to 155.4 million visitors per year. In 2019, travel and tourism contributed nearly $400bn to their economies.
Dr Karan Kukreja, FOUR PAWS Head of Campaigns Southeast Asia (Companion Animals), spoke of his delight in garnering such significant support. “We have seen an incredible response from the travel and tourism sector on this majorly important animal welfare topic.
"What we are seeing is that more and more businesses and their customers do not support this barbaric trade and are willing to raise awareness and call for its immediate end. Polling suggests that 90% of people in Southeast Asia do not support it either."
Dr Karan Kukreja, FOUR PAWS Head of Campaigns Southeast Asia
Kukreja continues, “Our campaign, which has acquired nearly two million petition signatories, is making inroads - over the past two years alone, we have seen major regencies and cities in the region ban this needless trade.”
FOUR PAWS DCMT CAMPAIGN PETITION: https://help.four-paws.org/en/end-dog-and-cat-meat-trade-southeast-asia
Across Asia, opposition to the dog and cat meat trades is increasing, with an ever-growing number of countries and territories (Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and two major cities in mainland China) banning the trade in and slaughter, sale and consumption of dogs. In September 2021, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in suggested it could be time to consider a dog meat ban, and a government-initiated task force is currently considering the issue. President Elect Yoon Suk-yeol has also stated he would not oppose a dog meat ban provided there is social consensus.
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 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.
 Global Data. [accessed 2022 Sept 27]. https://www.globaldata.com/tourist-arrivals-to-asean-will-reach-155-4-million-by-2022-says-globaldata/
 Statistica. [accessed 2022 Sept 27]. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1102510/southeast-asia-travel-and-tourism-gdp-contribution/
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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