The dog meat trade in 2024 – All you need to know

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Despite consistent pressure from animal rights activists and organizations, the dog meat trade industry is still very much alive and active in several countries in 2024. We take a look at where the trade is still active, and countries that have outlawed the trade in recent years. 

Along with ethical and social concerns of eating dog meat, many organizations have highlighted the health risks of consuming dog meat which include, transmission of diseases, foodborne illnesses, infections and more. 

It is difficult to confirm the exact amount of dogs that are killed per year in the trade as the nature of the trade in most countries is now illegal. Due to this, the practice is now mainly secretive and underground meaning exact data is hard to find. Despite the crackdown on the trade, It is estimated that millions of dogs are killed each year for human consumption. 

The Humane Society estimates that the number of dogs killed each year can be as high as 30 million.

What is the dog meat trade? 

The dog meat trade is an industry in which dogs are both legally and illegally (depending on the country) bred, stolen and slaughtered for human consumption. Despite animal rights activists campaigning to ban dog meat across several countries, the trade is still common in several regions worldwide.

How are dogs killed? 

A key cause for concern in the trade is both how dogs are kept and killed. With some countries introducing legislation and restrictions to help stop the trade and consumption of dog meat, the practice has moved underground in areas and has been controlled by criminal gangs. 

Dogs are killed using various methods including but not limited to; beating, electrocution, strangulation, poisoning, hanging, and slaughterhouse methods. 

Countries where the trade is still legal:  

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia 

The trade of dog meat in China

Despite international pressure from other countries and animal rights groups alike, the trade and sale of dog meat for consumption is not illegal in China. Although changes to reduce animal cruelty have been made by the government, strong cultural and social factors 

Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival 

Despite international pressure and a petition from The Humane Society International that gathered 11 million signatures, the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival which began in 2009 is still held annually. 

Held in Yulin, Guangxi, China over a 10-day period, it is reported that over 10,000 dogs are slaughtered and consumed for the event each year.

The trade of dog meat in South Korea 

In November 2023, the South Korean government announced a plan to ban on the slaughter, sale and consumption of dog meat by 2027, including a three-year support period to help businesses transition out of the trade.

Although country-wide there is no legislation currently banning the trade in South Korea, local bans and regulations by provinces and cities have been implemented. 

Recently, we reported that more than 30 celebrities have joined forces to end Indonesia’s Dog Meat trade by penning an emotive joint letter addressed to the Indonesian President

The trade of dog meat in India 

There is currently no nationwide restriction on the trade and consumption of dog meat in India, however, there have been steps taken by some local authorities to ban and reduce both the sale and consumption of dog meat. 

This article by PETA India investigates and documents the cruelty behind wildlife and dog meat markets in the country. 

Due to the nature of the trade in India, it was not possible to find accurate numbers on how many dogs are killed for human consumption each year. It is said that the practice is not common nationwide and there are consistent efforts by organizations and animal rights activists to discourage the practice. 

The trade of dog meat in Vietnam

Although attitudes toward the consumption of dog meat is changing in Vietnam, particularly among the younger generation, there is no law which bans the sale or consumption of dog meat in Vietnam as of 2024. 

Locally, some provinces and cities have implemented bans and restrictions on the sale and consumption of dog meat which vary both in scope and punishment. Overall the country has naturally seen a decline in the trade as views towards dogs have shifted with them being viewed as pets as opposed to food. 

The dog meat trade in Indonesia

In December 2023 we reported that more than 30 celebrities came together to call for an end to the dog and cat meat trade in Indonesia. Despite the emotional letter from key figures in the entertainment industry, and consistent work from animal rights activists and organizations, there is no national ban on the slaughter, sale or consumption in Indonesia. Although the sale is not explicitly legal nationwide, and government has been slow to upload any restrictions. A key win the the fight against the trade came in 2023 when a once top tourist attraction, Tomohon Extreme Market was closed. This was a key win to end the end meat trade in Indonesia as when active more than 130,000 dogs were slaughtered for consumption each year.

Countries that have banned or implemented restrictions on the trade 

  • Taiwan
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore

The trade of dog meat in Taiwan

In April 2017, Taiwan introduced the “Animal Protection Act” which banned the trade, sale and consumption of dog and cat meat. The act made Taiwan the first country in Asia to outlaw the consumption of cats and dogs. The law tackled key areas of the trade which made it not only illegal to sell and trade the animals for human consumption but also targeted the end user and outlawed the consumption itself. 

Penalties for individuals include fines ranging from around USD 1,500 to $8,000. The government also launched various public awareness campaigns at the time to help promote animal welfare. 

The trade of dog meat in the Philippines 

The Phillippines’ Animal Welfare Act of 1998 prohibits the killing of dogs for meat but does not ban the consumption of dog meat. The act is not exclusive to dogs with the only animals not protected being pigs, cattle, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, horses, carabaos, deer and crocodiles. 

Although there is no national ban on the consumption of dog meat, some local authorities have implemented legislation that bans the consumption of dog meat. 

Read more about the dog meat trade

At The Vegan Review, we believe in the liberation of all animals and support the efforts of animal rights organizations in their work to end the consumption of dog meat globally. 

Should you wish to support any of the organizations fighting against the trade, we recommend visiting the websites below: 

Over the years The Vegan Review has written several stories the illegal and legal sale and consumption of dog meat. Click here to visit our content library. 

Damoy Robertson
Damoy Robertson
Damoy Robertson is an entrepreneur and founder of The Vegan Review. Damoy is dedicated to spreading veganism to the masses which he believes will enable people to make better, more informed decisions concerning the way we all interact with animals and our planet.