FOUR PAWS took over animals after they were confiscated by the authorities
Many of the dogs are still puppies. You suffer from heat exhaustion and are severely dehydrated. It is unclear how long the dogs had to stay in the minibus. They were extremely hungry, which suggests that they had nothing to eat for several days. We are currently preparing an outdoor enclosure where the dogs will be safely housed and cared for until we have found a new home for them. This crackdown by the authorities for the first time sends a clear message to dog meat traders in Cambodia. Trade is no longer tolerated
Dr. Katherine Polak, veterinarian and head of FOUR PAWS stray aid in Southeast Asia
Vienna (OTS) – A terrible picture was presented to the police in Siem Reap, Cambodia: 61 young dogs, many of them still puppies, were penned in six small cages in a minibus on February 21st on their way to a slaughterhouse in Kampong Cham. The authorities immediately confiscated the animals. The driver of the bus was arrested on the spot. FOUR PAWS has taken care of 61 dogs. Although dog meat trade has been banned in Siem Reap since July 2020, it was Cambodia’s first government confiscation of dogs intended for slaughter.
After the confiscation, all dogs were released from the cramped cages and temporarily released into a small, makeshift enclosure. Together with the local organizations ‘Paw Patrol Cambodia’ and ‘Animal Rescue Cambodia’, FOUR PAWS takes care of the procurement of food and medication for the hungry dogs. A team of vets and the local authorities are currently on site to vaccinate the dogs and treat their injuries.
The dogs confiscated are both stolen pets and strays. “
Many of the dogs are still puppies. You suffer from heat exhaustion and are severely dehydrated. It is unclear how long the dogs had to stay in the minibus. They were extremely hungry, which suggests that they had nothing to eat for several days. We are currently preparing an outdoor enclosure where the dogs will be safely housed and cared for until we have found a new home for them. This crackdown by the authorities for the first time sends a clear message to dog meat traders in Cambodia. Trade is no longer tolerated“Says Dr. Katherine Polak, veterinarian and head of FOUR PAWS stray aid in Southeast Asia.
Tourist favorite Siem Reap as the hub for the dog meat trade
In July 2020, Siem Reap became the first province in Cambodia to ban the slaughter and trading of dogs for their meat, but according to FOUR PAWS it is still a hotspot for the nationwide dog meat trade. Research shows that minibuses bring an estimated 3,750 live dogs, cooped up in small cages, from Siem Reap to the large slaughterhouses in Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom and Skun every month. There they are drowned, stabbed or hanged, dehaired and sold by wholesalers to over a hundred documented dog meat restaurants in the capital, Phnom Penh. An estimated three million dogs are killed for their meat each year in Cambodia.
The first intervention by the official authorities is seen as a positive signal. FOUR PAWS has been working closely with the Cambodian government since 2018 to end the brutal dog meat trade. In addition to cruel animal cruelty, the trade poses a public health risk due to outbreaks of rabies and the spread of zoonotic diseases.
Over a million people worldwide against the dog and cat meat trade
In order to end the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia on a sustainable basis, FOUR PAWS has started an international and national campaign in Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Over a million people around the world have already signed the petition to end the cruel trade. “Through educational work and cooperation with the responsible authorities and tourism associations, the governments are to be induced to introduce strict animal protection laws that prohibit brutal trade. This will protect not only animals but people as well. The current COVID-19 pandemic has shown the risks involved in the trade in live animals. Unhygienic keeping conditions, brutal practices, mixing of sick animals: all of this can also be observed in the dog and cat meat trade. It’s an ideal environment for new viruses to emerge, “explains Dr. Karanvir Kukreja, veterinarian and head of the FOUR PAWS campaign in Southeast Asia.
In addition, FOUR PAWS supports local animal welfare organizations and communities with humane and sustainable programs to manage 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.
Link to the FOUR PAWS petition against the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia
Inquiries & contact:
Mag. Elisabeth Penz
Press Office Austria
FOUR PAWS – Foundation for Animal Welfare
Linke Wienzeile 236, 1150 Vienna
Tel: + 43 (0)1 895 02 02 – 66
Fax: + 43 (0)1 895 02 02 – 99
Car: +43 (0) 664 3086303
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