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The dog meat trade in Vietnam is horrific, illegal, and inhumane - and must be stopped.
Dogs are stolen from loving families and off the streets in Thailand. These poor dogs are then thrown into overcrowded crates, which are stacked and illegally transported by truck and by boat into other countries; particularly Vietnam, where dog meat has become a sought-after delicacy.
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.
Three steps must be taken by the Vietnamese government to stop this trade. First, make the import of dogs for meat a punishable crime. Second, enforce the ban. Third, enact a media campaign against eating dog meat. The 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.
Sign now. Help us stop the dog meat trade.
Ms. Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến, Minister, Ministry of Health of 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. The 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:
You see, 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.
Take these three actions, and maybe we'll see the end of this underground, unsanitary, and inhumane practice.