Animal Campaigners, Rescue Dogs & MPs Unite as Parliament Debates Asia’s Cruel Dog Meat Trade

30 million dogs brutally slaughtered each year must end

LONDON (5 Nov 2015) – Animal campaigners Humane Society International, Soi Dogs, Change for Animals and Animals Asia joined with TV vet Marc Abraham, MPs and rescue dogs Smoocher and Holly outside Parliament, ahead of today’s Commons debate about Asia’s dog meat trade. Around 30million dogs a year are brutally bludgeoned, electrocuted, hung and even boiled to death for their meat, considered a delicacy across parts of China, South Korea and other Asian countries. Today’s debate was initiated by Robert Flello, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent, and is the first ever Commons debate on the issue.  


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Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK, who will attend the Parliament debate, said: “Millions of dogs across Asia, including stolen pets, are mercilessly beaten, poisoned, electrocuted, hung or even boiled to death, to end up on dinner plates. This isn’t a delicate question of ‘cultural differences’ in diets, it’s a simple fact that this trade is largely illegal and unimaginably cruel. Since Britain considers itself a world leader in animal welfare, we cannot sit idly by and allow this brutality to continue. Through today’s debate we hope MPs will send a strong message to policy makers across Asia to take urgent and decisive action to end the trade, and we call on the government also to be proactive in offering support.”

Garyy Baxter at Soi Dogs Foundation, said: "Soi Dog Foundation see the House of Commons debate as the first step towards the British government taking a firm stance with its Asian counterparts regarding working together to shut down the dog meat industry."

Suzanne Rogers at Change For Animals Foundation, said: “We have heard claims that dog meat is part of ‘culture’ or ‘tradition’. But we believe that these can never be excuses for cruelty or exempt from change. The dog meat trade is a highly emotive and contentious issue wherever it is popular, and we are working to support calls coming from within these countries to end the trade that causes immense animal suffering and poses a significant risk to human health.”

The majority of dogs dying for their meat are strays or pets snatched by thieves from the streets; South Korea is the only known Asian country to have an intensive dog farming industry that produces dogs solely for meat. China consumes around 20 million dogs a year, although dog meat is only eaten by a relatively small proportion of the population and is subject to vocal home-grown opposition. The trade also occurs in the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

China’s infamous annual Yulin dog meat festival is one of a number of such events across the country, during which thousands of dogs and cats are trucked into the area from across China. Humane Society International witnesses the Yulin event every year and has seen firsthand the large trucks packed with hundreds of dogs, off-loaded at back alley slaughterhouses during the early morning, and the dogs beaten to death in front of each other. The volume of animals is overwhelming, with Chinese authorities routinely turning a blind eye to a dog meat trade that blatantly relies on criminal activity to sustain it – illegal slaughterhouses without license to operate, and the stealing of pet cats and dogs from towns and cities. Many of the dogs are still wearing their collars when they reach the slaughterhouse.

MPs at the debate will be asked to support the motion:“That this House calls for an immediate end to dog meat trade cruelty; supports the Humane Society lnternational’s campaign to end the dog meat trade by working with government officials and local organisations in Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and China to raise public awareness and strengthen laws related to this trade; and calls on the Chinese government and Yulin and Guangxi officials to stop the Yulin dog meat festival where thousands of dogs are being cruelly bound, confined, trucked and slaughtered for meat.”

Humane Society International, Soi Dogs, Animals Asia and Change for Animals are proud members of the Asia Canine Animal Protection coalition.  

ENDS

Media contact:

Wendy Higgins, HSI Communications Director: 44 (0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org 

Humane Society International/UK and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsiuk.org.

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Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Our key campaigns include Kill the Cull opposing England's badger cull; Be Cruelty-Free to end animal testing of cosmetics; CITES and wildlife protection; Love Spain Hate Bullfighting. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org Be Cruelty-Free is the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally HSI is leading the charge to end cosmetics cruelty in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and Be Cruelty-Free USA is spearheaded by The Humane Society of the United States. On the web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree

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