One million people worldwide have signed a petition calling for an end of the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, initiated by the animal welfare organization Four Paws.
In Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia alone, over 10 million dogs and cats are killed every year for their meat, according to Four Paws. They say the trade is not only immensely cruel but also a risk for the emergence of new zoonotic diseases like COVID-19.
“We are proud to have reached such a first major milestone of public support from people all over the world who reject the dog and cat meat trade and the cruelty it stands for,” Katherine Polak, veterinarian and Head of Four Paws Stray Animal Care in Southeast Asia said.
“We have seen favorable and crucial turning points this year. Cambodian tourist hotspot Siem Reap set an example when it banned dog meat, but there is still much work to be done.”
Four Paws has informed the governments of Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia of the global and local sentiment against the dog and cat meat.
They urge the governments to ban the dog and cat meat trade across Southeast Asia to protect both human and animal health and prevent potential future public health catastrophes.
The dogs and cats ending up in the trade are often stolen pets or stray animals taken from the streets, crammed into small cages, and brutally killed at restaurants, markets, and slaughterhouses throughout Southeast Asia.
The unsanitary conditions in slaughterhouses and live animal markets facilitate the transmission of zoonotic diseases and provide the perfect breeding ground for developing novel ones.
Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI), the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) and the Cats Matter Too coalition lobby against the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia. Asia for Animals Coalition works to improve the welfare of all animals across Asia.