Tell Vietnam to Take Dogs Off the Menu!

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

The dog meat trade in Vietnam is horrific, illegal, and inhumane - and must be stopped.


About five million dogs are eaten in Vietnam each year, most within the capital city of Hanoi. Data from the Hanoi Veterinary Department indicates that there are more than 400 businesses trading or slaughtering dogs in the city1.

Dogs are stolen from loving families and off the streets and thrown into overcrowded crates, which are stacked and illegally transported by truck and by boat to markets and slaughterhouses. In Vietnam, the dog meat trade is also accompanied by violent crime.

Meat dogs are typically sold for about $50 — much lower than the threshold for criminal charges around $100. This makes it cheaper for dog thieves to steal pets and guard dogs without worrying much about the consequences2.

Poor treatment, dehydration, and starvation lead to rampant injury, disease, and death among the dogs during transport. Rabies, cholera, E. Coli, and distemper are all spread by this brutal trade, threatening animal and human populations. On arrival, surviving dogs are met with an inhumane death, their bodies sold to markets and restaurants for profit.

Dog meat is said to increase a man's virility, warm the blood on cold winter nights and help provide medicinal cures. Some believe the more an animal suffers before it dies, the better its meat will taste, which may explain the brutal way dogs are killed in Vietnam — either bludgeoned to death with a heavy metal pipe, sliced or stabbed in the chest with a large knife, or burned alive3.

But tastes are changing. One study from 2020 showed that, though 60% of Hanoians have eaten dog meat at least once in their lives, 44% say they wouldn't eat it again. Now, just 11% of Hanoi's population eat dog meat regularly, and in Ho Chi Minh City, that number is less than 2%.

Hanoi officials in 2018 announced a dog meat ban that would be in full effect in the city centre by 2021. But dog meat yet remains on menus in downtown Hanoi4.

It's time the Vietnamese government take the dog meat trade ban seriously.

Three steps must be taken by the Vietnamese government to stop this trade:

  1. Make the import of dogs for meat a punishable crime
  2. Enforce the ban
  3. Enact a media campaign against eating dog meat

Dog meat is being marketed as an expensive delicacy with health benefits. This awful myth must be publicly discredited to stem demand and protect public health, or the black market trade will continue to put countless millions at risk.

Sign the petition below and help us stop the dog meat trade.

More on this issue:

  1. Ashley Lampard (5 February 2021), "What happened to Hanoi's dog meat ban?."
  2. Animals Asia (5 November 2014), "Anger in Vietnam as dog meat trade fuels crime."
  3. Kate Hodal, the Guardian (27 September 2013), "How eating dog became big business in Vietnam."
  4. Robin Speiss (18 September 2018), "'By 2021, there will be no dog meat restaurants in the city centre'."
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The Petition:

Dear Minister of Health, Vietnam,

We are outraged to learn of the illegal trade in and inhumane, unsanitary treatment of dogs as a meat commodity in your country.

The dogs that are being sold for consumption undergo a horrific process. It begins with theft. Many of these dogs are pets, stolen from families that love them; others are illegally gathered from the streets in neighboring countries. These dogs are then thrown into overcrowded crates, often a dozen or more in each one. The crates are stacked and loaded onto large trucks to be transported illegally across borders.

The dogs in the crates are left to suffer from dehydration, starvation, injury, and disease during the course of their journey. When they arrive in poor condition, many are already dead, and communicable diseases like rabies, cholera, E. Coli, and distemper are rampant - and can easily spread into local animal and human populations. Nonetheless, their bodies are of such value as meat that decaying bodies are treated to hide the decay, barbecued, and sold to an unsuspecting populace.

Living dogs suffer just as much, meeting an inhumane death at the hands of inexpert workers and being sold under unsanitary conditions to those who will cook it up for profit.

You cannot stop this trade through laws on paper alone. You need to put three steps into practice:

  1. Make the illegal import of dogs a punishable crime
  2. Enforce the ban consistently and quickly
  3. You need to start a widespread media campaign against eating dog meat

Dog meat is being marketed as a delicacy with health benefits. It costs more than pork, and is in high demand in meat markets and restaurants. Your media campaign should portray the dog meat trade for what it really is: cruel, illegal, and a real danger to the public.

The people of the world have spoken, and we demand you take these three actions and end this inhumane practice.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: