The dog meat trades in Asia – affecting tens of millions of animals each year – are arguably the most severe companion animal welfare concern in Asia. The dogs endure unimaginable suffering throughout all stages of the trade, from sourcing, transport, sale and slaughter. Stolen pets and roaming dogs are transported to cities on filthy, overcrowded trucks, posing a significant risk of disease transmission including rabies. Many die from suffocation, dehydration or heatstroke before they reach their final destination. For those who survive, the grueling journey ends at a slaughterhouse, market or restaurant.
Founded in May 2013, the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) is an international alliance of animal protection organisations – founded by Animals Asia, Change For Animals Foundation, Humane Society International, and Soi Dog Foundation – committed to realising the dual aims of eliminating rabies and ending the trade in – and demand for – dogs for human consumption, focusing on Vietnam, but also addressing the supply of dogs from Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
Given the pledge made by countries throughout the region to eliminate rabies, a disease which causes substantial economic, human health and animal welfare impacts, by the year 2020, ACPA is working to build collaborative relationships with the governments throughout South-East Asia where the dog meat trade is prevalent, to strengthen and enforce existing regulations which can serve to prohibit the trade.
By working with governments and human and animal health experts, ACPA has already secured a moratorium on the trade in dogs between Thailand and Vietnam. Vietnam’s Department of Animal Health also issued a directive to stop the illegal import of dogs. With government support, ACPA campaigns in key border areas to target illegal traders, and we will continue to work in close collaboration with regional governments and local law enforcers to ensure an end to this brutal trade.
What is ACPA doing to end the illegal trade in dogs?
At present, there are insufficient resources allocated to enforcing existing disease control regulations that would end the trade in dogs for their meat across the region. As a result, the industry persists and continues to cause significant risks to human health and the suffering of millions of dogs every year.
ACPA is committed to ending the dog meat trade. Our work focuses on:
- Working with and supporting the governments and local authorities throughout South-East Asia to enforce existing regulations, so as to help ensure these countries fulfill their pledge to eliminate rabies by 2020;
- Highlighting the human health risks associated with the dog meat trade and the slaughter, butchery and consumption of dogs;
- Providing humane and sustainable dog population management solutions;
- Promoting responsible pet ownership;
- Encouraging a compassionate attitude towards dogs by highlighting the positive impacts they bring to society.
Our ongoing activities include:
- Conducting investigations to expose the risks the trade poses to human health and animal welfare;
- Providing training and support to local animal protection groups;
- Working with authorities to stop the illegal trade.
There is an ever-growing opposition to the dog meat trade and ACPA is committed to working with local and international partners to raise the profile of this issue and to ensure the strengthening and enforcement of laws that will banish this suffering to the history books.