Dogs off the menu in Southeast Asia

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dog meatWesterners cringe at the thought of eating a man’s best friend, a taboo cuisine that has been dined upon throughout parts of Asia. An estimated 5 million dogs are slaughtered annually, thousands of them being former pets. Usually these canines are crammed into cramped and claustrophobic-worthy cages and shipped along the Mekong River from Laos, winding up on a dinner plate in Vietnam.

Fortunately, earlier in September, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos came to an agreement concerning the cruel smuggling trade that is trafficking dogs for meat. Among the measures involved, Vietnam plans to put into place a five-year ban on bringing in dogs for commercial purposes, an idea pushed by an animal welfare group called the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA).

“Stray dogs are far too difficult to catch, even with hi-tech equipment,” John Dalley, the founder of the Phuket-based charity Soi Dog, told TIME. “The vast majority of intercepted dogs we see are actually stolen pets – most have collars on and are very tame and friendly.”

The reasons for these new initiatives aren’t because of the organized crime element of stealing and selling one’s furry friend, but rather the spread of disease. Vietnam has one of the worst rabies problems in Asia, with dogs being the main victim. In June 2013 in Hanoi, a pack of rabid dogs invaded a suburb and bit 117 people, including children. This has led to ASEAN aiming to make all member states free of rabies by 2020.

However, the dog meat industry is lucrative. Each animal can fetch $155 to $215, a profit incentive that many are willing to trade and find new routes for, despite the potential risks involved. Yet, authorities remain vigilant, seeking to put a stop at the borders.

“We are still seeking solutions as the border between Thailand and other countries is long and difficult to manage, considering the illegal trade we are trying,” says Boonseub Chemchoig, Chief Inspector General for the Thai Ministry of Interior.

 

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Westerners cringe at the thought of eating a man’s best friend, a taboo cuisine that has been dined upon throughout parts of Asia. An estimated 5 million dogs are slaughtered annually, thousands of them being former pets. Usually these canines are crammed into cramped and claustrophobic-worthy cages and shipped along the Mekong River from Laos, winding up on a dinner plate in Vietnam.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dog meatWesterners cringe at the thought of eating a man’s best friend, a taboo cuisine that has been dined upon throughout parts of Asia. An estimated 5 million dogs are slaughtered annually, thousands of them being former pets. Usually these canines are crammed into cramped and claustrophobic-worthy cages and shipped along the Mekong River from Laos, winding up on a dinner plate in Vietnam.

Fortunately, earlier in September, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos came to an agreement concerning the cruel smuggling trade that is trafficking dogs for meat. Among the measures involved, Vietnam plans to put into place a five-year ban on bringing in dogs for commercial purposes, an idea pushed by an animal welfare group called the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA).

“Stray dogs are far too difficult to catch, even with hi-tech equipment,” John Dalley, the founder of the Phuket-based charity Soi Dog, told TIME. “The vast majority of intercepted dogs we see are actually stolen pets – most have collars on and are very tame and friendly.”

The reasons for these new initiatives aren’t because of the organized crime element of stealing and selling one’s furry friend, but rather the spread of disease. Vietnam has one of the worst rabies problems in Asia, with dogs being the main victim. In June 2013 in Hanoi, a pack of rabid dogs invaded a suburb and bit 117 people, including children. This has led to ASEAN aiming to make all member states free of rabies by 2020.

However, the dog meat industry is lucrative. Each animal can fetch $155 to $215, a profit incentive that many are willing to trade and find new routes for, despite the potential risks involved. Yet, authorities remain vigilant, seeking to put a stop at the borders.

“We are still seeking solutions as the border between Thailand and other countries is long and difficult to manage, considering the illegal trade we are trying,” says Boonseub Chemchoig, Chief Inspector General for the Thai Ministry of Interior.

 

 

 

 

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