Progress Is Being Made Towards
Ending The Illegal Dog Meat Trade!
Dear Friends and Supporters of Soi Dog,
I am writing today to update you on the campaign to end the illegal trade of live dogs from Thailand to Vietnam as well as the situation at the Livestock centers where dogs rescued from the illegal dog meat trade are being sheltered.
How far we’ve come! Because of your support no reports of dogs crossing the Mekong River over the last 3 months and more dogs have been saved over the last 17 months than in the preceding 15 years!
Over the past few months Soi Dog has financed a growing network of investigators both in Thailand and importantly in Laos in order to block attempts to smuggle dogs across the Mekong River en route to Vietnam. The smugglers prepare to receive the dogs in Laos in advance and with this information we can advise the Thai authorities of pending operations. This has proved very successful and no reports of dogs from Thailand arriving in Laos have been received for the past 3 months. The downside is that evidence suggests that the Vietnamese buyers are now increasing their operations in Laos itself to source dogs.
To bring an end to the entire trade in the region, Soi Dog has formed a regional alliance comprising Soi Dog, Humane Society International, Animals Asia Foundation and Change For Animals Foundation to work with the governments of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand and to host a tripartite conference with the relevant ministries from these three countries.
While it is the unbelievable cruelty associated with the trade that shocks people, we believe that to bring the necessary changes in the region, it is the danger of rabies to the human population which gives the best chance of success in terms of motivating governments to end the trade. The transport of unvaccinated dogs has been proven to be a significant cause of the spread of rabies in the region. All the countries in South East Asia have pledged to eradicate rabies by the year 2020 and by allowing the trade to continue are exacerbating the problem. We already have ample evidence of large numbers of the dogs involved being infected with rabies.
For the dogs that have been rescued and housed in livestock centers their future remains perilous. Last week I met with Dr. Sorasithsuksakul, the head of Thailand’s Department of Quarantine and Anima Movement who has overall responsibility for the livestock centers in Thailand.
Dr. Sorasithsuksakul advised that 300 dogs held in the province of Nakhon Phanom must be moved soon to a livestock department shelter farther south at Buriram. The provincial government of Nakhon Phanom is running out of funds for the care of these dogs. A temporary shelter is being hastily constructed to house them. Previous plans to move dogs from another overcrowded livestock department shelter at Khemmarat are on hold as a result.
Dr. Sorasithsuksakul also reiterated that the department of livestock has no budget to supply dog food in the quantities that Soi Dog is currently supplying. This means that Soi Dog will have to look to supply additional food for the 300 dogs at Buriram in addition to the approximately 2,000 Soi Dog is currently providing food for.
With food prices rising significantly the sheer cost of just providing sufficient food is growing and it is impossible for Soi Dog to continue to finance this without your urgently needed support. Your monthly donation of $30 will save 4 dogs from starving!
The Magic 1000 Club has been established to help feed these dogs and we thank supporters across the world who have joined, however more club members are urgently needed now to keep these dogs alive. In addition Magic 1000 club members through their support continue to supply drugs and medication and equipment such as high pressure hoses, refrigeration systems etc. Nearly 1,000 dogs have been sterilized, next month a team will be sent to Buriram to sterilize the new arrivals from Nakhon Phanom as well as 100 dogs already there. The cost of sterilizing rescued dogs has already exceeded one million Thai Baht ($33,500).
Why is sterilizing these dogs important? A situation where puppies like Sea Lion are conceived and born in these centers is plainly crazy. Sea Lion was born with deformities probably because of his mother’s poor health. Sea Lion is an extremely lucky puppy, having been adopted by Australian Soi Dog volunteer Ellie Harris and currently being fostered in the USA thanks to the intervention of Arthur E Benjamin, the founder of American Dog Rescue. Arthur himself is sending Sea Lion to a specialist to see if his malformed rear legs can be fully repaired.
Other dogs have been adopted but they are the lucky minority. The vast majority continue to live from day to day with little hope of any long term future outside of the shelters. Because they escaped the Hanoi dog meat restaurants they are considered the lucky ones. The reality is that these innocent victims of crime have escaped one fate to arrive in another. Please help today to provide them with a better life, free from disease and hunger.
Many thanks from Soi Dog and the dogs and cats of Thailand!
P.S. US Residents - Soi Dog is a registered charity in the USA and your donation is tax deductible to the full extent allowed by US law.
United Kingdom Residents - Soi Dog is a registered charity in the UK and your donation qualifies for HMRC gift aid.