Vietnam kills at least 5 million dogs a year, mostly in brutal ways

By VnExpress   October 14, 2016 | 09:30 am GMT+7
Vietnam kills at least 5 million dogs a year, mostly in brutal ways
Preparing dog meat in Vietnam. Vietnam is the second biggest consumer of dog meat in the world, according to the Asia Canine Protection Alliance. Photo by Reuters

The mistreatment of dogs and consumption of dog meat have remained widespread.

Around five million dogs are killed in Vietnam every year, making the country the second biggest consumer of dog meat in the world after China, the Asia Canine Protection Alliance said in a statement Thursday.

According to the advocacy group, this estimate came as a shock to many people when it was first made public two years ago. And yet since, the mistreatment of dogs and consumption of dog meat have remained widespread in the country.

Accurate figures and data are impossible to obtain as wherever it exists, the dog meat trade operates in breach of existing laws and regulations, and the slaughtering, sale and consumption of dogs is largely unregulated, the group said.

The dog meat trade is arguably the most severe companion animal welfare issue in the region. The availability of dog meat is most widespread in Asia, where the welfare concern is greatest due to the large numbers of dogs being stolen from owners, taken from the streets or sourced from farms, transported long distances and inhumanely slaughtered.

The dogs’ journey ends at a slaughterhouse, market or restaurant. Slaughtering methods vary but include bludgeoning with a heavy metal pipe, having their throats slit, or being stabbed in the chest with a large knife. This often happens in full view of other dogs, according to the ACPA.

The ACPA’s initial focus is to end the trade in - and demand for - dogs in Vietnam, including those imported from Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

The organization has helped train for voluntary dog rescue teams in Vietnam for them to operate more effectively to the animals, said Vi Thao Nguyen, country director of the Humane Society International in Vietnam.

The ACPA was founded in May 2013 by the Animals Asia, Change For Animals Foundation, Humane Society International and Soi Dog Foundation.

About 20 million dogs are slaughtered in China each year while South Korea kills 2-3 million, said the advocacy group.

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