Why Do We Need Vets to End the Dog Meat Trade?

5,000,000 dogs are killed for dog meat every year in Vietnam.

If dog meat is banned, as many anti-dog meat campaigners would like, where will the 5,000,000 dogs go?

Will they just stay on the streets, not stolen from their homes or sold by their owners to the dog traders when they are no longer wanted?  Some are vaccinated for rabies but only a very small percentage are vaccinated for infectious diseases.  Probably less than 10% are sterilized.  Most Vietnamese vets cannot even perform a sterilization with proper sedation or clean surgical instruments and many do not even recommend the procedure at all.  Many dogs die after this simple surgery due to the poor standards of veterinary care.  If we cannot reduce the supply of dogs going into the dog meat trade, we will never get anywhere in ending the industry.

If dog meat is banned, infectious diseases, road accidents, and uncontrolled breeding will drastically increase.  Dog meat is a horrible industry, but it is a method of population control in Vietnam.  When it ends, the population explosion that will occur as a result has NO vets to address the problems they will create because the investment in veterinary infrastructure is ZERO $$$.

If you want to ban dog meat, you need to start thinking ahead. 

The vet industry in Vietnam will require massive investment beginning in university education and continuing through regulation, access to equipment and pharmaceuticals, and career-long, ongoing training for all practicing veterinarians in all sectors.

Currently, there are no adequate solutions on the table from domestic or international organizations as the donor-centered focus remains on sheltering/hoarding animals and trying to get dog meat trucks off the highways.  Without competent vets, neither of these things are even possible anyway.  People continue to address dog meat as a supply-based legal issue and species-specific industry rather than looking at the fact that ALL animals in Vietnam suffer the same fate for human consumption and reducing the demand requires facing the reality that meat consumption in general is the cause of animal suffering, not dog meat specifically. 

No new laws on the books here will make dog meat ethically produced, and the same principle applies to ALL species.  There is no right way to do the wrong thing. Anti-cruelty legislation will completely miss the mark if it is meant to only address dog meat. In addition, banning dog meat only increases the demand for other meats in industries no less cruel for other species. Moving torture and murder from one species does nothing to reduce aggregate suffering, but just continues to perpetuate the idea that animals are here for us to use, exploit, and murder at will as long as they are not “pets”. The speciesism spewing from the anti-dog meat campaigners has done nothing to end animal suffering and it never will.  

If you want to end the dog meat trade, you will begin with building veterinary infrastructure in Vietnam to address the ROOT of the problem. Without year-round, mass sterilization projects run by well-trained and well-equipped veterinarians, dog meat will always be on the table.

Our vet clinic will be the center of our mass sterilization and vet training work while also providing the only in-house laboratory and internationally trained veterinarians capable of treating ALL species equally and with the most modern treatments available.  Once we are up and running, we will begin our weekly outreach programs to ensure that in central Vietnam, we will end the population of unwanted animals over the coming decades. This is a long battle and none of it will be cheap or easy, but if you want to end animal suffering, the first people you need to change are the veterinarians who have the power to end the supply of these animals being sent to their deaths for the whims and greed of humans. Ignoring the vital veterinary infrastructure which is currently completely lacking in Vietnam means we have no power to end the nationwide suffering of so many species.

For more information on the current state of the veterinary industry, please click on THIS blog.

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