Which countries eat pets

FOUR PAWS in Austria

FOUR PAWS report: Trade thrives despite major health crises

Southeast Asia / Austria - Current research by FOUR PAWS paints a frightening picture: in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia alone, an estimated ten million dogs and cats are brutally slaughtered every year. The consumption of dog and cat meat is not illegal, but the way in which the animals are obtained and slaughtered is. In many cases, the dogs and cats are pets that are stolen from their owners and then drowned, hanged, burned alive, or stabbed to death. This means that the dog and cat meat trade is not only the biggest animal welfare problem in Southeast Asia, FOUR PAWS also warns of serious health consequences for people. The uncontrolled spread of rabies is just one of them. In addition, the animals are often sold in live animal markets, the place of origin of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Dog and cat meat is available in restaurants and at markets, the visitors of which are mainly locals, but also tourists, especially from China and South Korea. In addition to immeasurable suffering for animals and their owners, trade and consumption also pose considerable health risks, reports Dr. Katherine Polak, veterinarian and head of FOUR PAWS stray aid in Southeast Asia: “The dealers steal pets and strays and drag them across the country - often across national borders. It does not matter here whether the animals are infected with rabies or other diseases. The keeping and slaughter of dogs and cats, mostly at live animal markets or in backyards, is not only extremely brutal, but also free of any minimum hygienic standards. This creates the perfect breeding ground for new and deadly zoonotic viruses, such as the coronavirus. With around ten million animals slaughtered each year, the trade is booming, although the majority of locals in Southeast Asia reject dog and cat meat. The responsible governments must act quickly - to protect animals and people. "

High demand for dog and cat meat in Vietnam

According to FOUR PAWS investigations, an estimated five million dogs and one million cats are slaughtered for their meat each year in Vietnam. The kilo of dog meat brings between six and nine euros. Cat meat can cost up to eleven euros per kilo - in the case of a black cat, even up to 20 euros. Vietnamese men are the main buyers of dog and cat meat. There is often a misconception among them that the flesh has healing properties. Demand is particularly high in the north of the country. The FOUR PAWS study shows that 60 percent of the locals in Vietnam's capital Hanoi have eaten dog meat at least once in their life. However, 44 percent of those surveyed in Hanoi also stated that they would want to do without dog meat in the future. Dog and cat catchers regularly collect pets and strays in the south of the country and transport them across the country in narrow cages for over 18 hours without food or water. Animals are also imported from China and Laos to satisfy the appetite for dog and cat meat. In Vietnam there are often fatal clashes between pet owners and dog and cat catchers.

Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh as a dog meat hotspot

It doesn't look any better for the animals in neighboring Cambodia. FOUR PAWS research shows that around three million dogs are killed and eaten there every year. The animals slaughtered include strays, but also domestic animals, which are either stolen, exchanged for pots and pans, or sold. A live dog costs between 1.80 euros and 2.70 euros per kilo, while a kilo of raw dog meat costs up to 3.60 euros. A dog meat dish costs less than one euro. FOUR PAWS has documented over 110 restaurants that offer dog meat in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh alone. Many of the restaurants have only opened in the past two years. A specialty in Cambodia is killing by drowning in specially constructed water basins - with this the slaughterhouses can process over a hundred dogs a day. Although the trade is thriving, dog meat consumption remains a controversial practice among locals, especially among the younger generations.

Dogs and cats deliberately tortured at Indonesian live animal markets

Dog and cat meat consumers are a minority in Indonesia. According to the FOUR PAWS report, less than seven percent of Indonesians eat this type of meat. Nevertheless, around a million dogs and hundreds of thousands of cats are killed for the meat trade every year. The meat is particularly in demand on the islands of Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi. On so-called “extreme markets” in North Sulawesi, popular with tourists, the animals are sold and burned alive in front of the market visitors. A live dog costs around 13 euros. A ready-made dog meat dish, usually in the form of a currie or soup, costs around 1.30 euros.

FOUR PAWS fighting the dog and cat meat trade

In order to end the brutal trade in dog and cat meat in Southeast Asia on a sustainable basis, FOUR PAWS has started a campaign at international and national level. Through educational work and cooperation with the responsible authorities and tourism associations, the governments are to be induced to introduce strict animal welfare laws that prohibit the catching, slaughtering and eating of dogs and cats. In addition, FOUR PAWS supports local animal welfare organizations and communities with humane and sustainable programs for the management of the dog and cat population. FOUR PAWS is also part of the animal welfare coalitions DMFI (Dog Meat Free Indonesia) and ACPA (Asia Canine Protection Alliance), which lobby against trade in Southeast Asia.

The report can be downloaded here:

FOUR PAWS has also started a petition against the dog and cat meat trade, which more than half a million supporters worldwide have already signed.

You will receive information about this and other FOUR PAWS activities continuously and, whenever possible, in real time on our social media channels:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube

Press Officer Austria

[email protected]

+ 43 (0)1 895 02 02 - 66

+ 43 (0)664 3086303

FOUR PAWS - Foundation for Animal Welfare
Linke Wienzeile 236, 1150 Vienna

About FOUR PAWS - Foundation for Animal Welfare
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organization for animals under direct human influence, which recognizes grievances, saves animals in need and protects them. The organization, founded in 1988 by Heli Dungler in Vienna, advocates a world in which people treat animals with respect, compassion and understanding. The focus of their sustainable campaigns and projects is on stray dogs and cats as well as domestic, farm and wild animals - such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants - from unspecific husbandry and from disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Great Britain, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the USA and Vietnam as well as protection centers for animals in need in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid and long-term help Solutions. www.vier-pfoten.org