HSI is a leading global organisation working in countries across Asia to end the gruesome dog meat trade. We provide funding to train officials for improved enforcement of laws; help local partner groups on the ground with veterinary and shelter care for confiscated animals; raise global awareness of the suffering involved in illegal dog theft, transport and slaughter of dogs; and work with dog meat farmers to transition them to more humane ways of making a living.
By drawing the attention of governments and the public to the cruelty involved in this industry, we hope to put a stop to the brutality and misery these dogs endure. The vast majority of people in the countries where the dog meat trade operates do not participate or condone eating of dog meat and public sentiment against the trade is growing strongly.
Community outreach and highlighting the special nature of dogs as our companions, and greater awareness about the very real risks to human health from diseases such as cholera and rabies will eventually extinguish the industry. With bans on the dog meat trade already in place across Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan and Singapore, achieving an end to the trade in other Asian countries is a realistic objective and one we are working hard to achieve.
Around 2.5 million dogs are killed annually for the dog meat trade in South Korea, which is the only country in the world with established dog meat breeding farms. There are some 17,000 in operation across the country.
On these farms, the dogs receive no attention or veterinary care, are bred and raised in diabolical conditions for profit only to be eventually sold and slaughtered, usually by electrocution, for human consumption. HSI is working with farmers who express an interest in leaving the cruel trade behind them to close down dog meat farms and fly the dogs to freedom in the USA, UK and Canada. Through a network of partner shelters, the dogs rescued are prepared for adoption into loving homes. They serve as ambassadors to help raise awareness of this issue. Back in South Korea, we help transition the farmers to new humane livelihoods such as blueberry farming, demonstrating to the Korean government that phasing out the industry is a feasible solution.
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 joined the Dog Meat-Free Indonesia coalition alongside Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Animal Friends Jogja and Change for Animals Foundation to launch a campaign to 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, however there is a way to go before the ban is enacted and enforeced throughout the country.
Indonesia’s dog meat trade is also threatening to undo all of the country’s hard work towards achieving rabies-free status by 2020. 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 June in Yulin, China, thousands of dogs and cats—including stolen pets—are slaughtered for the city's annual dog meat festival.
It was started in 2010 by dog meat traders to boost flagging business. In recent years, thanks largely to the efforts of HSI and our partner groups, this event has become gradually more muted and small-scale. In the face of 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 groups, we have been able to assist with rescues of thousands of dogs from the brutal dog meat trade from across China, including at the Yulin festival. We look forward to the day the Yulin dog meat festival 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.
Images: Jean Chung/For HSI; Dog Meat Free Indonesia; HSI