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Key facts

  • An estimated 2.5 million dogs are eaten every year in South Korea
  • In Thailand at least 30,000 dogs are captured every month to export into Vietnam as part of the international dog meat trade. This amounts to 1,000 dogs being trafficked daily into Vietnam
  • 10,000 dogs and 350 humans die of rabies every year in the Philippines
  • During China's annual Dog Meat Eating Festival in Guangxi province, 15,000 stray and abducted dogs are slaughtered. 

The problem

The consumption of dog meat has been a long existing cultural phenomenon in East Asia. Dog meat eating has been traditionally associated to cultural traditions and falsely linked to myths about health benefits.

The commercial production of dog meat has long been associated with animal cruelty and suffering. The disregard for animal welfare and safety has been witnessed throughout the whole production process, from the dog's living facilities, transportation and killing methods.

Dogs live in poor conditions where their housing is dirty and overcrowded and they receiving a lack of proper food and water with no daily exercise or mental stimulus. Consequently, a large proportion of dogs often die en route to their destinations due to dehydration, heat strokes or suffocation. There is also a high frequency of injury and fighting amongst them due to high levels of stress, hunger and fear.

At the slaughterhouses, reports have raised major concerns surrounding the killing methods employed. Without government regulation, inhumane slaughter methods have been used, including clubbing the dogs to death, throats being cut, being boiled alive, electrocution and hanging.

The KC view

The Kennel Club is opposed to the sale and consumption of dog meat. Whilst taking into consideration culture and traditional differences, culture and customs should not be used as an excuse for animal cruelty.

Potential solution

The legality surrounding the international dog meat trade varies across East Asia. For the majority of East Asian countries, the sale and consumption of dog meat is legal and there is no comprehensive animal welfare legislation in existence. However, there are countries that have banned the dog meat trade and legal variations and exceptions to the trade exist across the region.

There is no blanket solution that can be adopted.  As the legal structures and legislation surrounding the dog meat trade greatly varies, the Kennel Club would call for overall greater protection for animal welfare, the prohibition of the sale and consumption of dogs in the dog meat trade and in countries where these laws are already in place, enforcement and increased sentences to deter the trade. 

You can find out more about the dog meat trade campaign in other parts of the world through the World Dog Alliance here.