10 million dogs and cats are brutally slaughtered for consumption in just Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia every year, reports animal charity FOUR PAWS.
Sadly, dog and cat meat consumption is on the rise due to a false belief that it will ‘fight off coronavirus’. Some doctors in Vietnam and Cambodia are encouraging people to eat dog and cat meat to help fight off viruses and because it is ‘natural, without chemicals, and safe to eat’.
An investigation by FOUR PAWS found that sellers have seen an increase in sales of dog and cat meat and most have been through food delivery apps.
There are over 110 restaurants in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, that offer dog and cat meat, but are now offering it as takeout. Sellers were spotted wearing masks on the street as they handed bags of dog and cat meat to customers to take home.
“People are still eating a lot of the meat in these areas because they believe it to be a cure,” Micheal Chour, founder of animal charity the Sound of Animals, told The Sun.
Consumers claim they eat dog and cat meat because of the perceived health benefits, but FOUR PAWS warns that it’s a serious health risk. Aside from the risk of rabies, the meat has been linked to outbreaks of cholera.
Dr Katherine Polak, veterinarian and FOUR PAWS leader on the fight against dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, said, “The unsanitary conditions associated with the cat and dog meat trade, coupled with the contamination risks of having so many different animal species caged and killed alongside one another, present the perfect breeding ground for new and deadly diseases, like COVID-19.
“The rampant trade and live animal markets across Southeast Asia are ticking time bombs.
“If governments do not act now and shut down these cruel markets, the next global pandemic might originate in Vietnam, Cambodia or Indonesia.”
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The charity joined nearly 200 other animal welfare organizations, known as Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA), to write letters to the Prime Minister of Cambodia and Prime Minister of Vietnam to present the dangers of the dog meat trade and ask for a nationwide ban.
“The dog meat trade is rampant in Cambodia, involving the slaughter and consumption of up to 3 million dogs each year, many of them stolen pets, with an unknown number trafficked regularly into neighboring Vietnam. Research suggests that only 12% of Cambodians regularly consume dog meat, and consumption remains a controversial practice among Khmer people,” wrote the group.
In addition, the group asked for dogs and cats to be listed as companion animals not livestock, and a public announcement addressing the health dangers of the slaughter and consumption of dogs and cats.
“There is no way to ensure that meat sold from the five million dogs and one million cats in Vietnam every year is safe for human consumption. The conditions of the trade – crowded spaces, sick animals and filthy conditions – are very similar to what was seen at the likely source of the COVID-19 outbreak,” posted FOUR PAWS.
The cruel dog and cat meat trade needs to be banned worldwide for the well-being of animals and humans. FOUR PAWS will continue to fight and stand up for animals all over the world. “We are calling to make the world a better place, where animals are treated with respect, empathy and understanding and demand higher animal welfare standards!”
With increased awareness and people demanding change, together we can make a difference. Cats need your help! Please sign and share the petition below.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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