Inhumane dog population management
Millions of dogs roam the streets throughout many countries in Asia, often lonely, hungry and suffering from injuries and disease. All too often, governments resort to inhumane and ineffective strategies to deal with this overpopulation– including poisoning, electrocution and shooting.
For stray and roaming dogs - many born on the streets, others abandoned pets - there are two main areas of welfare concern:
The suffering of the dogs on the street: lack of food, shelter and veterinary care; injuries and disease; and abusive treatment from people;
The cruelty involved in attempts to control the population: All too often, governments resort to inhumane and ineffective strategies to deal with this overpopulation– including poisoning, electrocution and shooting.
Fear of rabies is a major driving force causing millions of unnecessary dog deaths every year. Where rabies is endemic, so is cruelty to dogs. During a cull, methods used to kill dogs include poisoning, gassing, electrocution, beating and shooting. All often result in slow and agonising deaths.
Humane alternatives to dog culling don't only exist, but they're the most effective way to manage dog populations.
The Asia for Animals Coalition members have extensive experience in providing guidance to create programs that focus on sterilisation and vaccination against zoonotic disease, and the promotion of responsible pet ownership so as to humanely address the overpopulation of street dogs and prevent pet abandonment.
The fur trade
It is estimated that over one billion animals are killed every year to supply the demand for fur. Many different species are used in the fur industry, including mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, domestic dogs and cats, seals, bobcats and beavers, but it is rabbits which are killed in the greatest numbers each year.
Fur is predominantly used in the fashion industry where millions of animals are killed to make coats, scarves and other accessories. Once considered a "luxury item", fur can now be so cheaply sourced, and more designers now see fur simply as another fabric to be added to items without thinking of the suffering caused to the animals from which it came.
How is fur produced?
Every year, millions of wild animals, including bobcats, coyotes, foxes, lynx, raccoons, and wolves, are trapped using steel-jaw leg hold traps, body-gripping traps, and wire neck snares- all of which are inhumane devices that inflict great pain and suffering.
Historically, trapping used to supply most of the animals used in the fur trade, but in order to meet escalating demand, today's industry now relies on the mass factory farming of wild and domestic animals to produce the majority of the world's fur. It is estimated that 85% of fur now comes from intensive factory farms around the world, with an estimated 80% of global fur production now occurring in China where cheap labour and the absence of restrictive regulations make profit margins greater for producers. This has resulted in the suffering of tens of millions of animals each year.
The dog meat trade
The trade in dogs destined for human consumption throughout Asia, results in the suffering of tens of millions of dogs each year. All stages of the trade- sourcing, transport, sale and slaughter- result in unimaginable animal suffering.
The dog meat trade is arguably the most severe companion animal welfare issue in the region. Whilst dog meat is consumed in several regions of the world, the availability of dog meat is most widespread in Asia, where the welfare concern is greatest due to the large numbers of dogs being stolen from owners, taken from the streets or sourced from farms, transported long distances and inhumanely slaughtered. Conservative estimates suggest that over 30 million dogs are farmed, traded and slaughtered for human consumption in Asia alone each year. However, wherever the dog meat trade occurs, it is either illegal or its production takes place without specific regulation, so accurate statistics regarding the number of dogs slaughtered are impossible to obtain.
Numerous investigations throughout Asia have documented the severe cruelty inherent in all stages of the dog meat trade- farming, sourcing, transport, sale and slaughter.
The theft of dogs by criminal gangs to supply the demand for dog meat is also an ever-growing problem in many countries in the region, including Vietnam and China. Stolen pets and dogs collected from the streets and rural communities are then transported to the cities on filthy, overcrowded trucks, posing a significant risk to rabies and other communicable disease transmission.
The AfA Coalition is supporting efforts being led by local animal protection groups, we will continue to lobby governments to take urgent actions to end the production, trade and slaughtering of dogs destined for human consumption, - and to prevent dog meat festivals, in recognition of the grave concerns for both human health and safety and animal welfare.