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New film exposes dog meat trade

21 August 2013

A trailer and website for “Shadow Trade” a documentary about the dog meat industry have been released as the movie itself nears completion. 

The film has spent 18 months in the making and focuses on the illegal dog trade in South East Asia, in particular, the trade between Thailand and Vietnam. The film was produced by Environment Films and funded by Soi Dog Foundation, Animals Asia, Dogs Trust, The Humane Society of the United States, Network for Animal Protection and The Marchig Trust. 

The website www.shadowtradefilm.com states: 

“The investigative documentary offers a unique insight into a practice that has been known by the public only as arrest and reaction headlines. It has never-before-seen footage and first-hand accounts from eyewitnesses, high ranking officials and even smugglers themselves. The unfolding story explains the trade and the cruelty without showing the harrowing scenes that still haunt those who witnessed them. It also shows the good Thai people who condemn the dog meat trade. 

“Mostly ‘Shadow Trade’ was filmed openly and with full permission from subjects but at times the team had to use undercover methods. Specialist filming equipment, including cameras hidden in watches and buttonholes, were used. Wherever possible, the team acted to save the lives and suffering of the dogs – the innocent victims of brutal greed.” 

Animals Asia Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said: 

“Time and time again when we scratch the surface of the dog meat industry we find criminality barely hidden from view. It’s an industry that prospers only through it’s illegal actions and it needs to be ended. This is fearless film making that dares to stand up again the trade.” 

Animals Asia Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen added: 

“ Awareness is key to ending this trade. Where it is illegal the resources and will must be found to enforce the law. Where it is considered acceptable, we must educate as to its realities. Shadow Trade is going to be required watching for anyone interested in animal welfare. Ultimately, to achieve what it sets out to, it has to find an audience beyond that. Everyone should watch this.” 

Versions in local languages will also be made available with the core aim of all involved to have the documentary seen by as wide an audience as possible. 

The film is directed and edited by Richard Elson who has worked alongside investigative journalist John Keeble and Director of Photography Ben Todd. It’s produced by Cherique O’Brien