Timeline of our Activities and Achievements
FOUR PAWS is committed to bringing an end to the cruel dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia
Every year, millions of dogs and cats are killed for their meat, making the trade arguably one of the most severe companion animal welfare issues in Asia.
FOUR PAWS is committed to bringing an end to the cruel dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia through government collaboration, supporting local stray animal care programs, rescues, and bringing awareness to the trade.
Our Journey to end the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia
February 2023: Open Letter sent to authorities in Vietnam after confiscation of four tonnes of cat meat
When FOUR PAWS learned of the confiscation of four tonnes of cat meat and 480 live cats from an establishment in Dong Thap province, Vietnam, we immediately reached out to the relevant authorities. This amount of meat equates to the death of roughly 2000 cats! Deeply concerned and outraged by this tragedy, we urged the authorities to take swift action to end the dog and cat meat trade, and offered our support. This cruel trade not only undermines Vietnam’s efforts to eradicate rabies by 2030, but it also poses a threat to public health, undermines animal welfare, and negatively impacts the country’s reputation. Read the open letter here.
September 2022: Dogs rescued from slaughterhouse safe and sound in Switzerland
Brinkman, Rhodey, Sassy, Shark and Wanda were on route to a slaughterhouse near Siem Reap Cambodia when the transport was stopped by local authorities in February 2021. They were amongst the total of 61 traumatised, injured dogs saved that day. In September, the five dogs were brought to Switzerland to find new permanent homes. These resilient, happy pups have settled in well in their temporary new home as the team works to find loving families to adopt them.
June 2022: Two more regencies and a city go dog meat free
The list of provinces that are putting an end to the cruel dog meat trade keeps growing: the Indonesian provincial capital Medan of North Sumatra passed the necessary regulations for the ban. This can be considered a massive win given that Medan city is a major hub for the dog meat trade, where up to 200 dogs are slaughtered every day. Almost at the same time, the regencies Temanggung and Magelang in Central Java also declared that they will join the movement and become dog meat free. While we are worried that the actual enforcement of these bans could bring some challenges ahead, we are excited about this major step in the right direction! Millions of dogs are killed for the dog meat trade in Southeast Asia. Please sign our petition against it.
June 2022: Dog slaughterhouse owner in Indonesia sentenced to 12 months in jail
The intercepted transportation of 53 dogs in Indonesia continues to create breaking news: After the driver of the truck was sentenced to prison a couple of weeks ago, now the owner of the slaughterhouse received his verdict that has put him to prison, additional to receiving a 150 million Rupiah ($10,000 USD) fine. This marks the country’s third conviction of a dog meat trafficker since the national government’s declaration in 2018 that “dogs are not food.”
April 2022: Five cities and regencies in Indonesia pass directives to prohibit the dog meat trade
As a result of continued lobbying by the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition, of which FOUR PAWS is a member, five more cities and regencies have passed local directives prohibiting the dog meat trade in Central Java – Magelang City and Jepara and in East Java – Blitar City, Mojokerto City, Mojokerto Regency. Please sign our petition to help us end the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia.
March 2022: Indonesian dog trafficker sentenced to 17 months in prison
Following the news of the dog meat truck owner going to trial in February 2022, we are pleased to report that the Indonesian dog trafficker has been sentenced to 17 months in prison. Despite the government’s declaration that dogs are not considered food, this is only the second conviction of a dog trafficker in Indonesia. Both cases send a strong message to those operating in this illegal trade, that it will not be tolerated.
February 2022: Semarang passes regulations to prohibit the dog meat trade city-wide
On 11th February 2022, the Mayor of Semarang City announced regulations explicitly prohibiting the dog meat trade city-wide. Officially signed on 27th January 2022, Semarang has now become the first capital city of the Central Java Province and the fifth region in Indonesia to pass such regulations. The announcement follows meetings in October 2021, between the Head of Agriculture Department and the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition, which resulted in an agreement to introduce regulations on the prohibition of the dog meat trade in Semarang City.
February 2022: Owner of dog meat truck to go to trial in Indonesia!
Last November, 53 dogs were loaded on a truck, headed for slaughter. Unfortunately, this is nothing unusual in Indonesia. However, as we reported back then, this time local police stepped in and intercepted the truck on its way to the slaughterhouse. We have just learnt that authorities are sending the owner of the dog meat truck for trial. We see this as an encouraging sign that Indonesian officials want to end this illegal trade and will follow the progress of the case.
January 2022: Our #ProtectMillions petition exceeds 1.5 million signatures!
We have achieved many successes with our campaign. Thanks to your support, we are pleased to announce that our #ProtectMillions petition has now exceeded an amazing 1.5 million signatures. Help us reach our goal of 2 million signatures by signing and sharing our petition to end the dog and meat trade.
January 2022: Another Indonesian city goes dog meat free
Officials from the city of Malang in East Java, Indonesia have issued a Circular letter pertaining to the prohibition of the dog meat trade city-wide. Following three years of investigations and continued lobbying, the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition, of which FOUR PAWS is a member, welcomes the move by Malang officials and we hope that more cities and provinces will follow. Please sign our petition to end the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia.
December 2021: Vietnam establishes first ever dog and cat meat-free tourist-friendly city
BREAKING NEWS: We are exciting to announce that FOUR PAWS and the Hoi An city government in Vietnam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to phase out the dog and cat meat trade in the city. Commitments from the Hoi An city government, within the two-year agreement, include the city becoming the first-ever dog and cat meat-free tourist friendly city in Vietnam, rabies eradication efforts and activities to improve companion animal welfare.
November 2021: Police in Indonesia intercept a notorious dog meat trader, saving over 50 terrified dogs awaiting slaughter
A dog meat trader in Java, Indonesia has been arrested, and a delivery truck packed with 53 dogs intercepted, as part of the country’s first ever large-scale police raid on an illegal dog meat slaughterhouse. As part of our collaboration with the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition, the local team rescued the dogs that were tied up in hessian sacks, with their mouths tightly bound with string. We consider the positive action taken by the Sukoharjo authorities, as a turning point in fighting against this outlawed, outdated, and cruel trade. Read more here.
October 2021: Provincial capital city of Semarang to pass regulations to prohibit the dog meat trade in Indonesia
In October 2021, meetings attended by the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition, of which FOUR PAWS is a member, achieved ground-breaking results in Central Java. The announcement followed that the provincial capital city of Semarang will pass regulations to explicitly prohibit the dog meat trade city-wide. Additionally, Central Java will soon become the first province in Indonesia to promote mass education to promote kinder societies through animal welfare education. With their enthusiastic approach and openness to collaboration, Central Java is set to become a flagship for other Indonesian provinces to follow. Please sign our petition to #protectmillions.
October 2021: Dog meat trader sentenced to 10 months in prison and a US$10,000 fine following police interception of 78 dogs in Indonesia
The dog meat trader in Kulon Progo, who illegally transported 78 dogs bound for slaughter has been found guilty and sentenced to 10 months in prison and a fine of US$10,000/150 million IDR. Sadly 16 dogs did not survive the horror and brutality, but thankfully 62 were saved and taken to Ron Ron Dog Care for care.This guilty verdict sends a strong message to dog meat traders operating illegally that this trade will not be tolerated. This also sends a strong message to the authorities who continue to let dog meat traders operate in their jurisdictions that there are existing laws that make this trade illegal which should be acted upon.
August 2021: Historical moment as dog meat traders to be prosecuted after police interception of 78 dogs in Indonesia
Following a police interception of 78 dogs destined for slaughter for human consumption in May 2021, Kulon Progo District Attorney’s Office officials have confirmed that they will prosecute the traders. Just the interception itself was a monumental event as this hasn’t happened in Indonesia – and the prosecution is another monumental event for the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition, of which FOUR PAWS is a member.
May 2021: 78 dogs intercepted on their way to slaughterhouse in Indonesia
Following the recent ban of dog meat in Salatiga, Indonesia, the police stopped a truck carrying 78 dogs headed to a slaughterhouse. This is the first ever interception of dogs destined for slaughter in the country! Sadly, several dogs had already died during the transport due to the horrible conditions, with another one sadly passing away later that evening, leaving 67 dogs alive. The Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition, of which FOUR PAWS is member of, received a call to support taking care of these animals, of which many were injured and severely traumatised. This is a huge win as incidents like these add pressure to local governments to step up against this horrible trade that is happening right in front of their eyes. Please sign our petition to #protectmillions.
April 2021: Another Indonesian regency goes dog meat free
Sukoharjo Regency has become the latest region in the Indonesian province Central Java to announce an official ban on the sale and consumption of dog meat. The government has confirmed that this is a permanent ban.
This announcement follows bans passed by two other Central Java regencies: Wonogiri and Karanganyar. Central Java is key to ending the brutal dog meat trade in Indonesia given that there are thousands of dogs trafficked and slaughtered throughout the province every month, and the island is home to more than 50% of Indonesia’s human population. These bans are thanks to the dedication and preservice of the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition of which FOUR PAWS is a member. The more places we can add to that list, the higher the pressure for other regions to follow suit. Let's get that list of hope growing to #protectmillions - please sign our petition against the dog and cat meat trade.
April 2021: Largest dog meat restaurant in Siem Reap shut down by officials
Things are starting to happen in Cambodia: This restaurant was notorious for dog meat in the area, a common meet-up spot for locals as well as tourists wanting to try out what they might perceive as an exotic dish. However, what they were consuming is a meal prepared with tremendous animal suffering. The place had been in operation for more than 10 years, selling about 60 kilograms of dog meat per day. We had investigated this horrible place before and are incredibly relieved that it is now out of business and no more dogs will be killed there.
Last summer, after discussions with FOUR PAWS, the Department of Agriculture declared an official ban on the dog meat trade, the first of its kind in Cambodia which is progressively being enforced as minivans are intercepted and restaurants closed. Due to COVID, the government has allowed these businesses a transition period to find other lines of work. We are glad to see the government start to act on their promises and hope that more dog meat venues will be closed down soon #ProtectMillions!
March 2021: FOUR PAWS Closes Major Slaughterhouse In Cambodia!
We close an infamous dog slaughterhouse in Skun, Cambodia, and rescuing the 16 remaining dogs held there. See what happened.
FEBRUARY 2021: Slaughterhouse-bound minivan carrying 61 dogs intercepted in Cambodia
The dogs were on their way to be slaughtered in Kampong Cham for their meat. FOUR PAWS teamed up with local organisations to provide emergency feeding and medication for the 61 rescued dogs. Read more here.
DECEMBER 2020: The cat slaughterhouse is now shut down!
The sign is taken down, the 20 cats and 5 dogs are out and in our care, and no animal will ever have to die at the former slaughterhouse in Thai Binh, Vietnam. Read more!
DECEMBER 2020: ONE MILLION people worldwide have signed our petition to #ProtectMillions of animals from the dog and cat meat trade!
We’ve achieved incredible things in the last year for cats and dogs in Southeast Asia, none of which would have been possible without your help. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to every one of you who has signed and shared our petition.
AUGUST 2020: Release of a Report and video on The Cat Meat Trade in Vietnam
FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation published a first-of-its-kind report on Vietnam’s cat meat trade in English, German and Vietnamese. This video, from footage collected during the investigation, was also released.
AUGUST 2020: FOUR PAWS shuts down dog slaughterhouse in Cambodia critical to the trade
Thousands of dogs are spared a gruesome death by drowning, choking, and asphyxiation. Read our press release here!
Read the story of the rescued dogs here!
FEBRUARY 2020: We release groundbreaking report on the Dog and Cat Meat Trade in Southeast Asia
We released a first-of-its-kind report on the Dog and Cat Meat Trade in Southeast Asia in English, German, Vietnamese and Khmer, bringing attention to the scale, illegal workings and health risks of the dog and cat meat trade.
We met with the deputy governor and multiple officials of the government of Siem Reap, home to the world-famous Angkor Wat, and present our report. The government agrees to look into the trade and ways of addressing the issues it poses.
Read this Sydney Morning Herald article about the report.
FEBRUARY 2020: We launch our campaign film
Our campaign film, telling the tragic stories of pets stolen from their owners for the trade, launches internationally, including in Vietnam and Cambodia.
FEBRUARY 2020: Petition reaches 500,000 signatures
Our petition reaches 500,000 signatures in less than five months. Sign our petition now and #ProtectMillions!
OCTOBER 2019: Closure of a slaughterhouse in Cambodia
We close a slaughterhouse in Takeo province, Cambodia, where 2,000 dogs were killed every year, helping the restaurant owner to move to a cruelty-free business farming rice and selling water. We rescue 10 dogs during this closure, and rehabilitate them over the coming months. Read our press release here!
OCTOBER 2019: Launch of the petition and our campaign
We launch our petition and campaign page urging the governments of Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam to take action against the trade, aiming for 1 million signatures. Sign our petition now and #ProtectMillions!
SEPTEMBER 2019: We launch Program Dharma with the Bali Animal Welfare Association
Program Dharma will work to investigate and fight the Dog Meat Trade and improve Stray Animal Care in Bali. Read more here!
SEPTEMBER 2019: Interception of 51 dogs destined for the meat trade by authorities in Thanh Hoa province in Vietnam
On-the-ground medical care is provided to rescued dogs by the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (of which FOUR PAWS is a member). Read more here!
JULY 2019: In Bali 77 stalls selling dog meat have been closed
In Bali, Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination, a total of 77 stalls selling dog meat have been closed, with the authorities stating that they will continue to take action against those who continue to trade in and sell dog meat. The Head of Animal Health stated that the sale of dog meat is 'clearly prohibited (by law) because dog meat is not considered food' and the trade has the 'potential to spread the dangerous rabies virus'. Get more details here.
JUNE 2019: Indonesia's Regency of Karanganyar in Java pledges an action plan to end its brutal dog meat trade, saving almost 2,000 dogs each month from slaughter
The action plan involves closing 21 stalls selling dog meat in the regency, and the creation of alternative livelihoods for people currently reliant on the trade. Read more here!
JUNE 2019: FOUR PAWS holds 'Hero Dogs' workshop on the dog meat trade, with our government partner Cambodian Mine Action Centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
For the first time in Cambodia, more than 70 participants from key government agencies and important stakeholders met to discuss the important role dogs play in Khmer society and commit to tackling the dog meat trade.
MAY 2019: FOUR PAWS partners with Jakarta Animal Aid Network
The first of its kind in Indonesia, an online educational toolkit will provide desperately needed resources on animal welfare and responsible pet ownership for the general public, teachers, and students throughout the country.
DECEMBER 2018: FOUR PAWS signs MOU with Cambodian Mine Action Centre to end the dog meat trade in Cambodia
Government officials begin to recognise the importance of ending the trade for human health and animal welfare. Get more details here.
DECEMBER 2018: FOUR PAWS starts 'Cats Matter Too program' alongside Vietnamese partners
This exciting program in Central Vietnam collaborates with local groups Vietnam Cat Welfare in Hoi An and PAWS for Compassion in Da Nang to tackle the cruel cat meat trade. Read more here!
OCTOBER 2018: FOUR PAWS' Indonesian team holds a medical clinic in Manado, Indonesia
The clinic provides vital medical care to dogs and cats at the Animal Friends Manado Indonesia shelter, many of whom had been rescued from the extreme live animal markets of Tomohon. During the clinic, a total of 64 dogs and cats were sterilised and provided medical care.
SEPTEMBER 2018: Indonesian government pledges to take action against dog meat trade
After lobbying and public campaigns by 'Dog Meat Free Indonesia', of which FOUR PAWS is a member, the Indonesia government issues a directive to provinces to end the dog meat trade.
SEPTEMBER 2018: In Hanoi, Vietnam officials report dog meat sales will be banned in the city center by 2021
This announcement is a positive step forward in ending the trade, but FOUR PAWS continues to work to ensure action is taken to protect Vietnam's cats and dogs.
JUNE 2018: FOUR PAWS launches Saving Pagoda Animals program in Cambodia
In collaboration with Animal Rescue Cambodia, FOUR PAWS provides veterinary training, free spay/neuter services and animal welfare education initiatives targeting Buddhist pagodas in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Read more here!