A joint collaboration between artists, activists and investigative journalists has resulted in a very compelling upcoming documentary on the hidden but widespread trading of dogs for meat in Thailand and Vietnam. The organization behind the film, Soi Dog Foundation, is all too familiar with this practice as they have rescued thousands of dogs that were originally destined to be sold for meat.
Though Thailand is mostly known for being a peaceful nation with beautiful beaches and great hospitality, there is, unfortunately, a dark underworld lurking beneath all of the beauty. According to Soi Dog Foundation, each year, tens of thousands of dogs are transported from Thailand into Vietnam, often packed into crates so tightly that many die of suffocation before even arriving to their destination. Those that make it are then butchered using cruel and barbaric slaughtering methods, including torture and skinning them alive, due to superstitions about pain making the meat more “tender.”
The film, Shadow Trade, was shot on location in Thailand and Vietnam and follows investigative journalist John Keeble as he works stubbornly to uncover the horrific use of dogs for illusive profit. Shadow Trade includes an impressive list of participants, including several top names from the world of journalism and film and with music by Michael Nyman and Mark Adair.
The new trailer for the documentary has been completed just in time, as the final touches for the full film are being added before its release in the upcoming month. All those behind the film really hope to galvanize many who are ignorant of this problem into action. Thankfully, Soi Dog is making progress, both via the “Shadow Trade” film and by drafting and presenting legislation to the Thai Parliament that will hopefully lead to greater government action on the matter.
This film could be the tipping point that places enough pressure on the Thai government to begin enforcing already existing laws and create stronger legislation. In the meanwhile, the Soi Dog Foundation and other animal rights organizations are doing all they can to save as many of these dogs’ lives as possible.
Soi Dog Foundation is a non-profit, legally registered charitable organization, working to rescue the homeless, neglected and abused dogs and cats of Thailand. Their aim is to set an example for the Asian region on how to humanely reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats through spaying and neutering, and to better the lives and living conditions of the stray dogs and feral cats of Asia. They have sterilized over 49,139 dogs and cats as of March, 2013.
Soi Dog has set up a “Magic 1000” club to feed and care for the dogs rescued from the meat trade. As the cost of feeding and housing so many dogs would be well over Soi Dog’s budget, they are searching for sponsors who are willing to give a small donation monthly to support one of the many dogs rescued. If interested, you can check out this program here: http://www.soidog.org/en/
Shadow Trade should be completed and hopefully ready for official release in the upcoming weeks.