Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are trying to save dogs, supposedly man’s best friend, from restaurants in Vietnam, where they have most favoured meat status.
The four governments agreed in principle to put an end to the trade in dogs for human consumption at a recent meeting in Hanoi, with a pledge to interdict the trafficking of canines from one country to another for the next five years.
The move, if successful, could save an estimate five million dogs from being slaughtered and eaten each year, according to the Asia Canine Protection Alliance, which spearheaded the meeting.
The alliance comprises the Change For Animals Foundation, Humane Society International, Animals Asia and the Soi Dog Foundation. It brought together anti dog-trade campaigners to meet officials of the four countries.
Smugglers in Thailand and traders in Cambodia and Laos all supply dogs to Vietnam where they are killed, cooked and served up in restaurants. Thai dog smugglers regularly take the animals across the Mekong River to Laos, from where they are sent on to Vietnam. Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Bung Kan are the main provinces where dog smugglers operate. The dogs are transported in crowded, unhumane cages.