Companion Animals

Inhumane Dog Population Management

The Issue
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.

Inhumane Dog Population Management

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 – they're the most effective way to manage dog populations.

The Asia for Animals Coalition has 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

The Issue
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.

The Fur Trade

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 leghold 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.


Greyhound Racing

The Issue
The racing of greyhounds for entertainment inflicts severe suffering on many thousands of dogs annually. There are a number of aspects of greyhound racing that raise serious cause for concern.

Greyhound Racing

The level of over-breeding and over-supply of greyhounds, producing animals that are bred for racing but do not go on to compete, or have to leave the industry early due to illness or injury. A large proportion of greyhounds that are deemed unsuitable for competitive racing, due to injury or simply because they are not considered fast enough, are killed.Injuries caused during racing and training are common.The lack of comprehensive regulations within the greyhound racing industry to eliminate practices that cause injury, suffering or distress (including those relating to breeding, housing, training and competition).

Greyhound racing in Asia- a worrying trend

  • VIETNAM: Greyhound racing has been established in Vietnam since 2000, following the granting of a 25 year license in 1999 to "Sports and Entertainment Services Ltd". They, in partnership with The Ba Ria Vung Tau Tourist Corporation, opened the first track on 6th May 2000 in Vung Tau. Imported greyhounds are housed at the Ba Ria Kennel complex on the outskirts of Vung Ta.

  • CAMBODIA: in 2000, the Indo China Racing and Entertainment company was granted a 30 year license for the development of greyhound racing in Cambodia.[1] A racing facility has reportedly been identified in the capital, Phomn Phenn.

  • CHINA: 'Luyu Greyhound Training Club" located in Puyang city, Henan reportedly operate regular greyhound races, and the Shanghai Wild Animal Park has an exhibition of greyhound racing as a form of entertainment for visitors to the safari park.

  • MACAU; Greyhound racing has operated in Macau since 1930, the Canidrome is operated by Hong Kong businessman Stanley Ho. In May 2011, the Irish Daily Mail exposed the trade in greyhounds from Australia to meet the demands of the industry in Macau. The article described the suffering, neglect and untimely death of over 380 dogs each year.

[1] The Development of Greyhound Racing in Vietnam, Papers by Mr. Nguyen Ngoc My, General Director, Sports and Entertainment Services and Mr. Phil Bell, Project Consultant presented at the WORLD GREYHOUND RACING FEDERATION CONFERENCE – SYDNEY 2000; http://www.greyhound-data.com/dir/291/Developement_of_Sport_in_Vietnam.pdf

Your Voice Makes a Difference
  • THE PHILIPPINES: A bill to develop a greyhound track was first introduced in July 2009. AfA coalition member the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) successfully lobbied senators to block this bill. In late 2009, a second bill was introduced and passed through the Congress. To date the bill has not been tabled for discussion in the senate.

  • CHINA: On the 27th February 2011, the Sunday Times reported that the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) planned to export dogs to China as part of an international expansion that could result in the IGB operating racing stadiums in China. After intense lobbying by both local and international animal protection organisations, the Irish government announced on the 3rd May 2011 that they had not approved the IGB plans to export greyhounds from Ireland to China.


The Dog Meat Trade

The Issue
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

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.


Help Save Bali's Heritage Dog

Companion Animals | Posted on Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The victim of indiscriminate mass culling and the shocking dog meat trade, Bali’s unique heritage dog is under threat of extinction. Many tens of thousands of innocent dogs are brutally slaughtered every year. Their suffering is horrendous.

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Greyhounds in Macau

Companion Animals | Posted on Sunday, 04 December 2011

Commercial greyhound racing is legal in Macau at the Yat Yuen Canidrome.

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