Four Asian Countries Pledge to End Dog Meat Trade

Animal welfare organizations are doing their parts to stop the illicit trade, and volunteers do what they can to save individual dogs and bring them home.

9.6.13 - Meat Trade Pledge

In the past week, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam have signed a deal with the intention of ending the importation and sale of dogs to be used as food. This move was initiated by their governments because of the involvement of animal welfare group Asia Canine Protection Alliance. The ACPA is comprised of four notable animal groups: Animals Asia, Change for Animals Foundation, Humane Society International and Soi Dog Foundation.

Dog meat is illegal in Thailand, but not in Vietnam, though the importation of dogs for consumption is. This doesn’t stop people from smuggling them in. Between 10,000 and 30,000 are brought in from abroad every month, according to an anonymous animal activist with Soi Dog.

Soi Dog is a Thailand-based nonprofit organization partnered with the US, the UK, Australia and the Netherlands that helps better the lives of stray dogs and cats in Asia, and educates people about animal care. They operate a network of undercover agents in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam who try to intercept smugglers at the borders.


The organizations are doing their parts to stop the illicit trade, and people from the groups do what they can to save individual dogs. UK resident and Soi Dog volunteer Rachel Barton has traveled to Thailand to save three dogs that would have otherwise been dinner.



“I was blown away by the charity and just could not believe the work that it was doing,” she said. “It is so forward thinking and they are just trying to raise awareness of the dog meat trade.”

Rachel Barton with one of the dogs saved.
Rachel Barton with one of the dogs saved.




The goal of Soi Dog and the others is “to end the illegal trade of dogs from Thailand and Laos into Vietnam… by tackling both the supply of dogs from Thailand and Laos and the demand for dogs for consumption in Vietnam.”

Dogs are crammed into cages and packed in trucks for 2-3 day journeys with no food or water until they arrive.

“They’ll be force-fed with pipes shoved down their throats, since they are sold by body weight. Dogs will be burnt with blowtorches to get rid of their hair,” said Soi Dog founder John Dalley. “There is a belief that causing pain increases adrenaline which tenderizes the meat. So you have dogs that have their legs broken right before they’re killed, dogs that are boiled alive, dogs are killed in front of other dogs.”

Many of these dogs are not strays, as they can be difficult to catch, but healthy, friendly pets who are eager to make a new friend.

“It’s very common to have dogs stolen in Hanoi, even if you let the dog go out on its own for just a few minutes,” said Tuan Bendixsen of the Animals Asia Foundation in Hanoi. Of his in-laws dog he said, “One day they opened the front door, the dog went out and in 10 seconds it was gone.”

Community members have banded together to stop pet thieves they know to be lurking in their neighborhoods.

“Thieves sometimes get beaten up or killed by the owners,” Tuan said.

Because the only dogs allowed to be brought into these countries must have proper documentation, they are trafficked instead, which allows for rabies to flourish. Many of the dogs used as meat have rabies, and is the reason for the crackdown on the trade. Consumers can also contract cholera and trichinosis.

“Realistically we have to look at this,” said Tuan. “We’d love to change people’s minds about how to treat dogs, but in the near future we need to work on the health issue.”

For many in Asia, eating dogs is as commonplace as eating burgers or fried chicken in the US, and the cows and chickens over here are treated no better. The new laws being put into place may not suddenly enlighten people who value the tradition of eating dog meat, but it can be hoped that the threat of rabies will curb their appetites.




21 thoughts on “Four Asian Countries Pledge to End Dog Meat Trade

  1. Maybe if these barbarians begin to realize that they can get deathly sick from eating dogs, their own selfish interests can help put a stop to this horrific practice. The people that do this seem to have no soul or sense of humaneness on any level. Eating cows and chickens may seem just as bad, but they are farm animals–who at least deserve humane lives if they are to be part of the food chain. Unlike “food animals” Dogs are so social & connected to humans, that it’s difficult to understand how these people could eat them–let alone relish the prospect of torturing them to death.

  2. People who eat dogs will burn in hell (at least I hope they do) This is absolutely barbaric and needs to STOP!

  3. You somehow think that “food animals” are treated any better here in the USA or anywhere else? You might want to do your research and then be part of the solution by ceasing to eat any animals, rather than judging other cultures because they are different than you

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Here we are not talking about cultures. Here we are talking about ‘Stopping the Brutal, inhuman treatment towards the animals irrespective of any country, culture, religion and etc. No culture, No religion has allowed to torture animals. At stone age, people used to eat lots of things but civilization has made humans realize what to eat and what not to. Still, if you like to eat any animal whose IQ level is close to humans, you should kill it in a non-brutal way and then eat, you should treat in a humane way before killing. Just because, you will eat doesn’t mean you will do anything and everything with the animal. And here, the cover title is about ‘DOG Meat’. Scientifically, Dog’s IQ level is closer to human except for some significant things ofcourse that’s why they stay loyal, faithful & friendly . I don’t understand how anyone can even think of eating a friend’s meat.

  4. I don’t understand why they eat dogs. Are they starving and no other food is available or is it for a strange belief that dogs have some magical property to counteract failing libidos? Not that the why makes it any less cruel.

    1. they eat dogs beacause it seams that its a very good taste. my mother comes from vietnam but she never eated dogs but her father yes.its horrible for meto know that.

  5. I beg to the authority to put an end to all this brutality against animals. To end dog meat. This is inhuman THINK how many millions of people there are in this world who suffer daily at such brutality in all aspects. We are animal lovers and we respect animals same way we respect all God creation. So in the name of God (Allah) we beg u all to stop this horrendous crimes. Thank you.

  6. Reading in the sun newspaper about how barbaric dogs are being tortured and killed for food has given me sleepleess nights, it is sick, the people (if that’s what they are)! Can not have any heart inside them or any empathy, dogs are pets, a great companion and part of your family. This has to be stopped! And the people trafficking dogs in the countries for money also need to be stopped. Its so sad to hear about this as times have moved on and most countries can get by with out making a poor dog suffer, hope they all get rabies those that eat dog meat!!!

  7. This is just sick. And to think, some of you guys are standing up for and defending these people eating dogs?
    Sure, I can’t say cows and chickens are treated any better here in the USA, but the thing is, livestock was bred for consumption. We don’t boil chickens alive. For the most part, they are killed humanely and then obviously boiled to be cooked. There’s no harm or pain for the chicken (if you are looking at a good farm). Dogs were bred to work closely with/for humans and they’re man’s best friend. Some Asians are eating their friends. It sends shivers down my spine. Asians try to defend themselves, saying ‘It’s only poor people who can’t afford anything else”. Bull! There’s a DEMAND for this meat! That’s why people who trade these poor dogs are making stacks. I’m tired of Asians going, ‘Ugh, why do people think we eat dogs and cats?’ Oh, yeah, maybe because YOU DO.

    Before you go and try to give ethical reason to this (because there is none), look at this article. Sickos…

    1. You need to educate yourself about how animals in USA are raised and slaughtered. There is nothing humane about any of it. Wake up.

  8. How many of you who think eating dogs is bad will go home and eat beef or pork tonight? I don’t see any difference. Just saying… Please think about it and google “factory-farmed animals”.

  9. Hopefully to get the heart of people eating dog meat being warm by other way around, realizing that eating the so-called man’s best friend is terrible. But, we can do nothing to somebody who really use to eat dog meat, part of it is the culture, eat since birth and the like. With this, we can only help stop them from eating, when someone is encourage to develop a certain genes that dog can resist but cannot do with the human. For every human who eats from that dog meat will let his heart stop breathing….

  10. So much care for dogs? finely get dogs even better than human sometimes? beacuse you love dogs? and so many reasons around you, why getting rid out of eating dog meat. Dogs can do something that there is none on the other animals. Save lives, understands responsibility most on his territory, recognizes people that needs attention, supersedes depressed people and even sacrifices illnesses. However, those people who do not know dogs and don’t want to know anything about dogs should not excuse for any reason…

  11. Most of us who now know what terror and torture these helpless dogs and cats suffer, are sick about it. What can we do to help stop this?
    People torturing defenseless, innocent, dogs and cats have absolutely NO conscience. They are sadistic and sick. To claim they laugh while theyre doing this, proves it. To claim they do this because their men feed on the adrenaline and believing their LIBIDO is increased???!!! What lies. Their countries’ governments don’t even allow more then one child, so what are they trying to increase their libido for? Can’t they be happy with their beautiful wives, unless they prove they’re sadistic torturers? And shame on other people there, who don’t torture these animals. Where are their voices, their consciences? Are they doing anything to put an end to this horror?
    Here in America, we have many who are working on changing and effecting humane treatment of animals. Those who are caught torturing animals here, are charged, punished by the law. But overseas, they promote these hienous acts, even celebrating their sadistic acts.

    We can pray for God’s mercy and intervention. We can get involved with organizations and groups working on stopping these terrible actions. Google names and ensure the groups are legitimate.

    Please don’t just be sick about this news and do nothing. We can make a difference. Together, we can stop the torture. Please stand up to this abuse and be a part of stopping this behavior for good!

    Thank You!

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