Dogs have always been considered companion animals, pets, or simply humans’ friends. However, historically and in the present days, dog meat has been consumed for curing various diseases, as part of the traditional or everyday meal. Unfortunately, dog farms still exist in some countries around the world, and conditions are unacceptable and horrible, dogs are cruelly beaten and tortured.
Asia is the leading continent in the world that practices dog farming, dog meat consumption, and commercial trade. In some countries, it is believed that dog meat helps during flu or cold, in some countries, it is considered that dog meat brings fortune and luck. While in every culture dogs are humans’ friends, companions, in some countries, they are treated like children, yet humans consume dog meat of certain breeds in the same countries.
In Asia, approximately 30 million dogs are killed for food consumption. These are, unfortunately, only those numbers of the countries that have dog farms and do commercial trade. However, the numbers are much higher because, in some countries, individuals are allowed to slaughter dogs for personal consumption, so the exact number remains unknown.
The Nureongi is one of the commonly used breeds for commercial raising in South Korea and is usually not kept as pets. In 2015, the report showed that a dozen breeds are actually eaten in the country, such as labradors, retrievers, cocker spaniels, etc. Other breeds include Mexican Hairless Dog, Hawaiian Poi Dog, Polynesian Dog, Tahitian Dog, etc.
In Cambodia, 2-3 million dogs are killed each year for food consumption, and methods of slaughtering include drowning, stabbing, strangulation.
In mainland China, it is considered legal to consume dog meat, and there are no quarantine procedures for dog slaughter. In accordance with the Animal Epidemic Prevention Law of the People’s Republic of China, dogs shall be vaccinated, except for the purposes of human consumption, thus they are illegal for sale or transportation.
Currently, dog meat is consumed in several regions, such as Guangdong, Yunnan, Guangxi, Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning. In 2020, Shenzhen became the first city in China that banned the consumption of dog and cat meat after the coronavirus outbreak. Yulin has been hosting one of the horrific dog festivals annually where customers ate dog meat, and recently the ban was issued by the government on hosting such event just weeks ahead of the festival.
Hong Kong has issued the Dogs and Cats Ordinance, which prohibits slaughtering any dog or cat for the purposes of human consumption, and the action is punished by fine and imprisonment.
In Taiwan, in 2001, the government banned the sale of dog meat. 6 years later, another law that was issued increased fines for those who sell dog meat. A lot of animal rights activists were pressing the government not prosecuting people who continue to use dog meat in restaurants and slaughter dogs.
In 2017, Taiwan became the first region in Asia that officially banned dog and cat meat consumption. Later that year, Legislative Yuan added the provisions to the Animal Protection Act, which “bans the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat and of any food product that contain the meat or other parts of these animals.”
Dog meat is consumed in a few states of India, such as Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, and activists have been raising the issue before the government.
In 2020, Mizoram enacted the Animal Slaughter Bill, which bans dog slaughter within the state. Later, in Nagaland, interested individuals launched the campaign against the dog meat trade, and the state banned dog meat consumption and trade.
The practice of dog meat consumption is not common in Japan, however, it was reported that more than 100 stores were selling imported meat to foreigners.
In 2010, it was reported that North Korea practice the sale of dog meat announcing that 1 kg/2.2 lb cost 500 won/0.46 USD.
In Thailand, animal cruelty conduct is regulated by the Prevention of Animal Cruelty and Provision Animal Welfare Act, which includes the ban on trade and consumption of dog meat.