The Siem Reap province in Cambodia has banned dog meat trade sparing hundreds of thousands of dogs from cruelty and torture.
Officials of Siem Reap province have banned the buying, selling and butchering of dogs for food in a new order issued on Monday.
The order branded the trade as “inhumane” as well as “dangerous” while paying tribute to dogs for being loyal companions and protectors.
Officials stated that anyone found violating the new order could face up to five years in prison and fines of 7 million to 50 million riel ($1,750 to 12,500).
Dog meat trade
According to animal right activists, dog meat is very popular in the province, which is also home to the famous Angkor Wat temple complex, a major attraction for foreign tourists.
An investigation led by 2 animal advocacy groups- Austria based Four Paws, and Animal Rescue Cambodia reported that nearly 2 million to 3 million dogs are killed annually in Cambodia with Siem Reap being the biggest supplier.
The groups discovered 21 restaurants in Siem Reap specializing in dog meat and 110 in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
Their report showed that an estimated 2,900 dogs per month were served at restaurants in Siem Reap in 2019.
Bans on dog meat consumption
With the new order, Cambodia joins other Asian countries and cities that have recently banned the dog meat trade.
While Taiwan was the first Asian country to outlaw this cruel business, Shenzhen became the first Chinese city to ban the eating of dogs and cats followed by Zhuhai.
Last month, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs excluded dogs from the livestock list stating dogs are ‘companion animals’ just weeks before the cruel annual Yulin dog meat festival.
Cruel Yulin festival
Although the10 day fair took place this year as well despite the ongoing pandemic and defying the government’s initiative to improve animal welfare and reduce the risks of zoonotic infections, animal activists hope that with new legislations being passed for animal protection, this year could be the last for the Yulin dog meat festival.
“This fair is just a breeding ground for another virus outbreak,” Yufeng Du, founder of the Bo Ai Animal Protection Center in China’s Sichuan Province told CBS News.
“Banning dog meat consumption is going to be challenging, but I’m hopeful it will come soon.”
Dr. Peter Li, a China policy specialist with the Humane Society said: “I do hope Yulin will change, not only for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its people.
“It is really important that China starts legislating a national law to ban the dog meat industry and I hope it will happen within five years.”
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