|Two NGOs support vulnerable households and children in Central Vietnam|
|Korean NGO builds new dormitory and library for Vietnam's rural boarding school|
|NGO provides more aid for localities hit by storms, floods|
|FOUR PAWS succeeded in rescuing 25 animals including cats and dogs.|
Every year millions of dogs and cats – both healthy and sick, owned and stray – are violently captured from the streets in Vietnam, crammed into tiny cages and transported unchecked across the country, with journeys often lasting days. To feed the appetite for dog and cat meat, animals are also imported from neighbouring China and Laos.
This is not only cruel to the animals, but also violates public health recommendations, especially in times like these,” says Dr Katherine Polak, veterinarian and Head of FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care in Southeast Asia. The unsanitary conditions during transport as well as in slaughterhouses and restaurants, which often keep a wide variety of species for slaughter, encourage the emergence of zoonotic diseases, like COVID-19. In addition, the trade is linked to outbreaks of rabies and cholera.
|The animals taken to the bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh, where vets provided the animals with urgent medical care|
Popular cat meat restaurant turned into motorbike shop
The restaurant in Thai Binh – specialising in cat and dog meat dishes – first came to the attention of the FOUR PAWS team following their nationwide research into the cat meat trade, which started in 2019. The restaurant owners, a Vietnamese couple, expressed their desperation to get out of the trade due to a desire to no longer kill animals. FOUR PAWS and Change for Animals Foundation is helping the couple set up a second-hand motorbike shop with the condition that they will never again engage in the cat and dog meat trade and that they will help FOUR PAWS identify and close similar restaurants in the area.
In contrast to the dog meat trade, the hunting, slaughter, and consumption of cats was explicitly prohibited in Vietnam until January 2020. However, cat meat is more in demand than ever – especially in the north of the country. The trade, though, is often fraught with illegality and brutality. As the increasing demand can no longer be met from stray animals alone, dog and cat meat traders often steal pets as well. As a result, violent confrontations between pet owners and thieves frequently occur, which in the past have even proved fatal.
Over one million people internationally make a stand against the dog and cat meat trade
|More than one million people worldwide have already signed the petition to end the dog and cat meat trade, including 200,000 Vietnamese.|
For the restaurant closure, rescue, and successful rehoming of the animals, FOUR PAWS and Change for Animals Foundation worked with local members of the Cats Matter Too coalition, including Hanoi Pet Rescue, Paws for Compassion and Vietnam Cat Welfare. To put a sustainable end to the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, FOUR PAWS has also launched a campaign on an international and national level.
More than one million people worldwide have already signed the petition to end the dog and cat meat trade, including 200,000 Vietnamese. “Through education and cooperation with the responsible authorities and tourism associations, the aim is to urge governments to introduce and enforce legislation banning the dog and cat meat trade to protect both animals and public health. This closure demonstrates that times are changing in Vietnam, with more and more pet owners and young people in Vietnam speaking out against the trade, and even the owners of restaurants themselves no longer wanting to be involved in it. We hope the closure of this restaurant and slaughterhouse is the first of many in Vietnam”, explains Dr Karanvir Kukreja, veterinarian and project manager of FOUR PAWS international campaign.
In addition, in Vietnam, the organization supports local communities with humane and sustainable dog and cat population management programmes. FOUR PAWS is also part of the animal welfare coalitions DMFI (Dog Meat Free Indonesia) and ACPA (Asia Canine Protection Alliance), which lobby against the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia.
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