Vienna, 11 July 2023 – The #ProtectMillions initiative calls upon citizens of the UK and the U.S. to write to their embassies and ambassadors in Vietnam to end this cruel and barbaric trade once and for all.
FOUR PAWS recently became official members of Vietnam’s One Health Partnership for Zoonoses Control – a coalition including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and more than 30 Vietnamese and international organisations working together to minimise the risks posed by zoonotic diseases.
Karen O'Malley, Programme Manager for FOUR PAWS' campaign to End the Dog and Cat Meat Trade in Southeast Asia, spoke of her pride and excitement for the launch of the initiative.
“FOUR PAWS is proud to work in collaboration with Vietnam’s One Health Partnership (OHP) for Zoonoses Control. Every year, an estimated six million dogs and cats are captured, transported, and slaughtered for their meat in Vietnam.
“By gaining the support of foreign embassies that are also OHP members, we believe we can establish a new and cooperative approach to end this trade, and create an opportunity to protect animals, citizens as well as UK and US visitors to Vietnam.
“Over the past few years, across Southeast Asia, we have seen a shift towards banning the trade; only this year the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, committed to end this horrendous practice. FOUR PAWS considers Vietnam to be a nation ready to make the next step in legislating for a country-wide ban. FOUR PAWS believes this campaign will make a lasting impact and create a brighter future for these innocent creatures.”
Previously, FOUR PAWS has amplified their dog and cat meat trade campaign by engaging with over 80 major tourism companies who have pledged their support. In addition, more than 1.9 million people have signed a global petition, and more than 24,000 international tourists have written to Vietnam’s National Tourism Board expressing their concerns about the trade.
A FOUR PAWS survey conducted in early 2021 across Vietnam found that the majority of Vietnamese people want their government to take action, with a total of 91% saying the trade should be banned or discouraged. When asked if they would support a ban on the dog and cat meat trade, 88% of respondents said that they would be in favour of such a measure. In addition, respondents were asked if they felt consumption of dog and cat meat was part of Vietnamese culture, with the resounding answer being no, and 95% indicating that this was not part of their culture.
I am writing to you as a concerned resident of the *insert your country* regarding the dog and cat meat trade. I have been made aware of the immense cruelty and suffering involved in this trade, as well as the significant risk to public health, and therefore I would urge you to work to phase out the dog and cat meat trade in Vietnam as a matter of priority.
Each year, five million dogs and one million cats are cruelly slaughtered for their meat in Vietnam. The entire process of this trade, from sourcing dogs and cats from unknown origins to their transportation, confinement, and eventual slaughter, poses a serious zoonotic risk to humans. It's not just about animal welfare; it's about protecting our own health as well. There are even cases of rabies-positive dogs being traded and slaughtered in Vietnam, completely undermining efforts to eradicate this deadly disease. It's a shocking revelation that must be addressed.
As you may be aware, FOUR PAWS are now official members of the Vietnam One Health Partnership for Zoonoses Control (OHP) and will be supporting the establishment and running of the Companion Animals Technical Working Group under the partnership. I strongly believe that, as a member of the OHP, your embassy’s support in the above-mentioned working group towards improving animal welfare, including addressing the many risks of the dog and cat meat trade, will demonstrate a ground-breaking new approach to phasing out this trade once and for all, and an opportunity to protect both animals, citizens and U.S. visitors to Vietnam.
Two concrete ways that the embassy may be able to support the work of this group is:
- Write a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development thanking them for establishing the Companion Animals Working Group.
- Once the first meeting of the Working Group is announced, appoint a permanent representative to the working group who will be strongly interested in animals, particularly companion animal welfare.
I hope that you use your position within the OHP to support the welfare of companion animals in Vietnam and represent *insert your country* citizens like me that are concerned for their wellbeing.
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org.uk