Dog and Cat Meat Consumption: Kennel Club Briefing
Dog and Cat Meat Consumption: Kennel Club Briefing
1. Cultural Traditions
Culture and tradition should not be an excuse for cruelty. A
practice being part of a culture does not justify it as being
morally acceptable. Historical cultural practices, such as slavery
were once socially accepted and seen as a basic right. However,
these types of practices are now widely recognised and viewed as
being morally wrong and unacceptable.
Contrary to popular belief, in Korea dog eating is a relaively
recent phenomenon and has never been a part of their culinary
history. The fabrication of dog and cat meat as an old age part of
Korean cultural heritage is a marketing strategy utilised by
vendors exploiting a commodity considered easy to produce.
Within the East Asian region, there are a growing number of
animal welfare groups being established and are in need of outside
support to ensure long-term welfare changes for animals in their
2. Consumption of Dog and Cat Meat
No government has devised a method of killing dogs humanely for
A veterinary representative of the Hong Kong Government,
Fisheries and Conservation Department stated that dogs cannot be
humanely raised and slaughtered for food.
As carnivores, dogs and cats are inherently different in
temperament and physiology to domestic livestock species more
commonly raised intensively en-masse for food.
The slaughter methods associated with dog and cat eating is
considered to be often deliberately designed to intensify and
prolong the suffering in the misguided belief that 'torture equals
In situations where the torture is not deemed to be deliberate,
the method of slaughter is still cruel. Markets in China, reveal
killing methods which leave both dogs and cats suffering a
lingering, violent death as they are either clubbed over the head,
stabbed in the neck or groin, hung, electrocuted or thrown
conscious into drums of boiling water.
3. Health Benefits Myths
There are numerous conflicting beliefs regarding dog eating,
for example dogs are eaten in the summer months in Korea to cool
the body down, whilst in China they are eaten in the winter to warm
There is no scientific evidence to support claims that dog meat
can improve blood flow and "chi", enhance male virility, promote
kidney function and aid digestion. Dog meat is proven to be no more
nutritious than that of pork or chicken.
Recent research into rheumatoid arthritis has proven that cats
are not effective in the treatment of arthritis.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Dr.Lo states "In
traditional Chinese medicine there are many alternatives to the use
of these animals. Culture should not be an excuse for cruelty and
when we are making progress in civilisation, we should also make
progress in our hearts and minds. There is no need to kill and eat
our faithful animal friends."
4. Pet Benefits
There have been numerous studies that have identified clear
benefits to both the public and society from dog ownership. These
include health, social and economic benefits.
Health benefits: There is a growing body of evidence that
suggests that the presence of companion animals and interaction
with pets can have a significant influence on improving physical,
mental and emotional health (Cutts et al., 2007). Due to daily
walking routines, pet owners have been reported to have lower blood
cholesterol levels, lower systolic blood pressure and better
survival rates after a heart attack. In addition, pet owners have
also been reported to have lower feelings of loneliness and
depression, lower levels of mental stress and higher self-esteem
(Cutts et al., 2007).
There can be particular health benefits also from companion
animals for specific different groups in society, for example
children and eldery people. The World Health Organisation states
that 'companion animals that are properly cared for bring immense
benefits to their owners and to society and are a danger to
Social benefits: Studies have revealed that dogs offer social
support contributing to health and well-being by offering
companionship and providing emotional comfort at times of stress.
They act as social catalysts, which are of particular benefit to
people at risk of social isolation, including older people and
those with physical disabilities who may have fewer opportunities
for social interactions. While these benefits will vary in
relevance and extent, the continuous level of ownership illustrates
that pets offer significant benefits to a large segment of the
population (Jenkinson, 2011).
Economic benefits: Based on the results obtained from national
representative samples, there were savings reported in national
health expenditures as a result from the improved health of pet
owners. For example, it is estimated that in Australia, the
presence of pets could save between $790 million (£517 million) and
$1.5 billion (£982 million) Australian Dollars. In nursing home
facilities in New York, Missouri and Texas that have integrated
animals as part of their environment, medication costs dropped from
an average of $3.80 (£2.3) per patient per day to $1.18 (70p) per
patient per day.
Examples of these benefits have been witnessed in Animal Asia's
'Dr. Dog' programme, which sees 300 'dog doctors' visiting elderly
homes, orphanages, schools and disabled centres. In addition, AAF
animal ambassadors, who rescued market dog Eddie and Detective dog
Simba (the first animal parts sniffer dogs in Asia), are working to
promote the concept of animal welfare in the East Asian
Write a letter to the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, His
Excellency Mr Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of the People's Republic of
China to the UK, 49-51 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL asking her to
help end animal suffering in China by contacting the Chinese
Government and urging them to introduce animal welfare legislation
to outlaw the eating of dogs and cats.
Write to your local MP to raise dog and cat related welfare
issues to the Government.
Contact the Kennel Club for further information: call 0207 518
1020 or Get Involved.
Contact Animals Asia Foundation for further information call
01579 347 148 or visit www.animalsasia.org.