5 reasons the dog meat trade must end

25 August 2017

Dogs are transported like this for days without food or even water

From extreme cruelty to animals, to social unrest and even murder, the dog meat trade is bad for dogs, bad for people and bad for countries.

1/ Meat dogs aren’t farmed – they are stolen

Despite an estimated 10 million dogs being slaughtered every year, Animals Asia investigators could not find a single large-scale meat dog breeding facility in the country.

Our 2015 report concluded: “In China there is no large-scale, intensive ‘meat dog’ breeding. Most dogs that end up on the dining table are in fact much-loved domestic dogs stolen from their owners, or captured stray dogs.”

Such widespread theft is causing social unrest and even human deaths as vigilante companion animal guardians fight the thieves.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with the animal lovers losing much-loved family members to a needless trade – and having also lost several loved companions to thieves, we know exactly how traumatising it can be.

2/ Dog meat trade spreads disease and risks lives

It is notable that both Vietnam and China have not been able to eradicate rabies. One of the main reasons is the dog meat industry’s illegal transports of millions of dogs every year – potentially spreading rabies on every meat truck.

To save on the meat traders’ costs, these animals have not been vaccinated against rabies.

This deadly oversight assists the spread of rabies which kills around 2,000 people in China every year.

Rescued dogs in China

3/ Illegality is the bedrock of the industry

Long-term investigations by Animals Asia have revealed illegality at every stage of the dog meat supply chain.

The dogs are stolen, rather than bred; they are transported without vaccinations or proof of origin and they are sold in unsanitary conditions which contravene China’s food safety laws.

Many of the animals stolen by dog thieves are killed with poison darts, while others carry diseases which can be transmitted to humans – risking the lives of unsuspecting consumers.

Unsurprisingly, many in China have had enough of the cruel trade and its illegal fallout. A recent online poll by China National Radio received 20,000 votes, with 69% agreeing the dog and cat meat industries should be banned.

4/ What these dogs suffer will break your heart

To maximise profits, dog meat thieves, transporters, butchers and traders indulge in cost-saving cruelty at every stage, resulting in unbearable suffering.

The dogs are first snatched brutally using cyanide tainted bait, crossbows fitted with poison darts, home-made stun guns or wire lassos which snap their necks.

They are then stuffed into tiny iron cages and transported large distances. During these long journeys the dogs will be dehydrated, starved and eventually the cages simply thrown or tossed off the top of the truck when unloading. Many don’t survive the journey. 

Those that make it will be taken to a slaughterhouse or a back-alley butcher. They will watch their companions dragged out and bludgeoned to death with a wooden bat or metal pole. Then it will be their turn.

The unlucky ones won’t die immediately. Some will survive the brutal onslaught and remain conscious as they are tossed into boiling water to remove their fur.

Closeup of dogs being taken to market

5/ Opposing the dog meat trade is a gateway to animal welfare awareness

Typically, humans have a close relationship with dogs. For this reason, many people first come to animal welfare either through sharing their home with a canine companion or opposing the cruelty of the dog meat trade.

But of course, once the connection has been made, many will extend their compassion to other animals and other industries.

If we can empathise with dogs and agree that they suffer horribly and have no wish to die for the meat trade, then we must also begin to question the welfare of cows, pigs, chickens or any other animal slaughtered for meat.

Each animal is an individual and every single one has the capacity to feel fear and to suffer. They each have only one life. Do we have the right to take it?

Dogs in cage