Up to an estimated one million dogs are killed annually for the dog meat industry in South Korea, which is the only country in the world with established dog meat breeding farms. There are thousands in operation across the country.
In Indonesia up to a million dogs are slaughtered for the dog meat trade every year.
Many of the dogs that are slaughtered in Indonesia are stolen family pets. One of the most horrific parts of the dog meat trade is that the animals often must watch on as other dogs are dragged away from the cages and brutally slaughtered in public markets, whilst they wait their turn.
HSI is a founding member of the Dog Meat-Free Indonesia coalition which comprises Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Animal Friends Jogja, Animals Asia and Four Paws, and was launched to campaign for an end this trade. By August of 2018, the Indonesian Government pledged to end the dog meat trade across the country. This was a major milestone in our fight to end the dog meat trade, but we are yet to see a nationwide ban materialise. In the meantime, we continue to work locally and so far have achieved 21 cities and regencies going dog meat free across Indonesia.
Indonesia’s dog meat trade is also threatening to undo all of the country’s hard work towards achieving rabies-free status. The World Health Organisation has explicitly highlighted the trade in dogs for human consumption as a contributing factor to the spread of rabies with its devastating impact on human and animal health.
Dog Meat-Free Indonesia is raising global awareness about the trade, and lobbying local and central governments to strengthen animal cruelty laws and end the dog meat trade across the whole country. The campaign is of particular interest to our supporters, as the trade is happening on Australia’s doorstep.
Every year across China, millions of dogs and cats—mostly stolen pets and strays snatched from the streets—are trafficked and slaughtered for the dog and cat meat trade. The annual dog meat “festival” that takes place in the city of Yulin every June, is just one example of this brutal and crime-fuelled trade.
The so-called festival in Yulin was started in 2010 by dog meat traders to boost flagging business. In recent years, thanks to the efforts of national and international campaigners including HSI and our Chinese partner group, Vshine, this event has become gradually more muted and small-scale. In the face of both domestic and worldwide condemnation, officials have cracked down on public displays of slaughter and limited advertisement of dog meat by restaurants. But the killing still goes on in the backstreets and out-of-town slaughterhouses under the cover of darkness.
However, together with our wonderful Chinese partner group, we have been able to support the care of thousands of dogs and cats saved from the brutal trade from across China, including at the Yulin festival. We look forward to the day the Yulin dog meat festival and the trade across China is confined to the annals of history.
HSI has also helped to launch a team of activists called China Animal Protection Power, who liaise with local police to pull over trucks on the highways crammed with dogs and cats on their way to slaughterhouses. As these animals are largely illegally acquired from the streets and their homes, as well as illegally transported across provincial borders without the necessary paperwork, intercepted trucks can be seized by the police and the dogs confiscated. Many of the rescued dogs are sick or injured, so our supporters’ donations have helped bring them top-quality veterinary care and safe sanctuary so that they can recover and learn to trust again.