The Horrors of Vietnam’s Meat Trade

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dogs-kept-cramped-cages-slaughtered-4369456#ixzz3F2Bei22u

Oct 02, 2014 22:30
by Nelufar Hedayat
Reporter Nelufar Hedayat looks at the terrible conditions dogs are forced to live in just to keep the black market in dog meat supplied

A shocking new TV documentary will reveal how hundreds pet dogs are being stolen every day in Vietnam for the lucrative dog meat trade. Unreported World shows disturbing evidence of how dogs are stolen, force-fed, kept in cramped cages and slaughtered for meals. Here, reporter Nelufar Hedayat exclusively reveals the horrors she witnessed.
The smell of dog and filth permeated the whole room along with frantic, high-pitched barking from the hundreds of dogs crammed into the large metal caged room.
Inside, line upon line of smaller crates were already packed with dogs who seemed to be vomiting rice onto the wet floor.
Grabbing one dog by the throat, the four men dragged it to a contraption at the back of the room, where one of them attached a tube to small buckets full of rice. He then pushed the other end of the pipe down the dog’s throat as the fourth man pulled down hard on a pump, forcing rice into the dog’s stomach.
The terrified local Vietnamese mutt screamed in pain, defecting and urinating as it was forced out and caged again, only to vomit the rice he’d just been force fed.
I watched horrified as this then happened again and again and again, presumably something happening to the hundreds of dogs here.
To call it a house of horrors would be no overstatement. But this is the reality of the dog meat industry in Vietnam, where thousands of dogs are force-fed to increase their weight, and therefore their market value when they are sold on.
Chau Doan
Trapped: Dogs
Breathtaking, after what I’d just seen, I asked the owner if the dogs feel pain when they are force-fed like that. His off-hand reply was “no-not at all, no pain”.
On the flight to Vietnam to investigate the dog meat trade in the country, I had prepared myself mentally. I knew what I was about to see would be brutal, difficult and shocking. But what I found was beyond even what I had imagined.
Almost certainly some of the dogs being force-fed in that room will have once been people’s pets.
The insatiable appetite for eating dog in Vietnam has sparked a huge black market in it and has provided a huge payday for thieves who steal thousands of dogs to sell on and meet the demands of the lucrative market.
Traditionally, dogs were trucked over in their hundred of thousands from Thailand where they would go without food and water for days on end till they reached Vietnam.
In the last six months the Soi Dog Foundation has worked hard with the Thai government to stop these criminals and bring an end to the dog meat silk road.
But the lack of dogs coming into the country has meant that criminal gangs have taken hold of the trade and need to find dogs from elsewhere.
In Hanoi, I spoke to two thieves fresh from a night’s work stealing dogs in a local village. They told me business is booming and gangs like his now prey on villages in Vietnam, stealing pets and guard-dogs by the hundreds.
“In the seven years I’ve been working, I’ve stolen round 3,000 dogs, big and small” one of them tells me.
Pets, strays or family guard dogs – they didn’t care because they had no-one to answer to and lots of money to make in the multi-million dollar industry.
But those whose animals have been stolen certainly care.
One man, Dang, who lives in the town of Nghe Ann, keeps his dog in a cage to prevent it being stolen and told me: “Along this road, all the failies living on both sides have lost dogs.”
Chau Doan
Sold: Dog trade
Almost 300 have been stolen over the last few months.
But it is a drop in the ocean of the dog meat trade overall.
It’s eaten in a host of countries including Thailand, South Korea, Philippines and China among others for a variety of reasons, from purging yourself of bad luck to increasing male sexual prowess.
It’s estimated that millions of dogs a year are raised, farmed and stolen to meet the ever-growing demand.
Every day or so I would I would see trucks in Hanoi with cages upon cages of deathly silent dogs all staring at passers by without so much as a bark.
They would be sold to slaughter houses or restaurants, kept for a few days and then killed in front of one and other by the roadside in the markets of Hanoi.
At one of the marketss the street is lined with holding pens, each with up to 500 dogs inside. The will be weighed to assess their value before being packed into incredibly cramped crates.
Chau Doan
For sale: Dogs as food
At busy times, the holding houses on this street process around 2,000 dogs in a single day.
The lust for dog meat grows as the Vietnamese become increasingly better off. The country has been transformed from one on the brink of starvation 30 years ago, to a place on the up and up by rapid economic changes.
People now have more money to spend on food, going out and partying and dog meat fits perfectly into that culture.

Any celebration and especially the end of the lunar month calls for a trip to the many dog meat only restaurants there. But do these people know where the meat they feast on comes from?
“We don’t know but we don’t care” one group of young teenage diners told me. “We only care about how it tastes and we love it” he said as his pals nod in agreement.
But in Vietnam, dog theft is not a crime, all you get charged with, if at all, for stealing dogs is a fine of up to $100 (about one night’s work for thieves).
But that’s rare as dog thieves operate in the dead of night and are notorious for being armed with home-made stun guns, swards and machetes to stop any pet owner from fighting them off. They’ve viciously attacked and even killed people who have fought back.
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But the tension is getting to much to bear and now some villages across the country are fighting back. Numerous mob killings of dog thieves have made national headlines.
In one such village, N-hi Trung, in the centre of Vietnam, 68 people confessed to the killing of two dog thieves who they say stole over 300 dogs from them that year alone.
“We are not scared of them” one pregnant villager who took part told me. “We won’t beat them to death, just break their arms and legs.”
It felt surreal, just bizarre, to think people were being killed for someone else’s dog meat dinner.
But more than anything, what was the most upsetting was the scale and truly inhumane way the dogs that had been caught were treated.
You don’t have to be an animal rights campaigner to see blatant cruelty at almost every turn and some of the killing and brutality I saw will stay with me for ever.
Chau Doan
Horror: Caged dogs
There are no health and safety or hygiene regulations for the killing of dogs and at a slaughterhouse I watched as a dog was grabbed from a pit and rendered unconcsious with two blows to the head before its throat is slit.
And I cannot forget the terrible scenes of those dogs being force-fed at one of the largest dog-trading market villages in the north of the country Son Dong Village.
In a single day seven tonnes of live dogs would be packed into massive metal crates piled high on top of one and other and shipped to Hanoi City alone for the restaurants and slaughter houses.
From what my team and I saw, the whole situation seems to be coming to a climax in Vietnam.
I’m not against people who eat meat, far from it, and our Unreported World film isn’t about that. What we have uncovered is a world of lawlessness when it comes to dog meat in Vietnam.
A government with a don’t ask don’t tell policy; middle-men and thieves who do unspeakable things to the dogs for better profit margins and the dog meat lovers who rarely question where the meat they were eating came from.
Whether the answer is regulating it, like pork or beef here in the UK, or banning it outright – as it currently stands people and dogs are suffering pointlessly as a result of the dog meat trade in Vietnam.
My hope is that after watching this film, people, campaigners and even the Vietnamese government are moved to end the cruelty in the dog eat trade. It simply isn’t right for things to continue as they are.
* Unreported World: Vietnam’s Dog Snatchers is on Channel 4 tonight(FRI) at
7.30pm.

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Man who posted dead wolf photo to Facebook speaks out

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

MISSOULA – The man behind a controversial Facebook post is speaking out.

Toby Bridges is under investigation by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for pictures he posted of a dead wolf. Bridges boasted that he hit two wolves with his car.

Bridges is an avid hunter and fisherman who has come under national scrutiny for a Facebook post on the page Lobo Watch, an organization he founded in 2008.

“Lobo Watch is a web site for wolf control advocates,” Bridges said.

The Sept. 16 post references an incident on Aug. 14 when Bridges hit two wolves while driving on I-90 near the Idaho-Montana border, killing one of them.

“A mature cow elk and a calf ran out onto the interstate. I slowed down and took my foot off the gas,” Bridges said.

That’s when Bridges spotted four more wolves. He wrote in the post that he let off the brakes and hit the accelerator, because he was going to “save that calf”.

He said that he did not actually intend to hit any wolves, but rather scare them off. Bridges added that hitting the wolves was unavoidable.

“My goal was to get it up there and to either haze those wolves off those elk, or get in between those wolves and those elk. I had no intention of hitting a wolf. There was no stopping, there was no opportunity to stop, even the greatest NASCAR driver out there in the world couldn’t have prevented running into some of those wolves.”

When asked why he decided to post the picture of the dead wolf, Bridges said it was to send a message to pro-wolf advocates.

“They don’t have any problems going after us all the time. I did it, I’ll be honest with you. I did it just to aggravate them. I wanted them to do something. I wanted them to step across the line, and they did. So I got what I wanted.”

FWP investigating after Missoula man runs over wolves

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

http://www.kpax.com/news/fwp-investigating-after-missoula-man-runs-over-wolves/

by Robbie Reynold – KPAX News

MISSOULA – A Missoula man is under investigation by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks because of a controversial Facebook posting.

“This is one of the more ghoulish, gorish, postings I’ve ever seen,” said Predator Defense Executive Director Brooks Fahy.

You have to see it to believe it – pictures of a dead wolf posted on a Facebook page titled Lobo Watch, which is an anti-wolf organization.

A written message accompanies the pictures, which were posted on Sept. 16 – recounting an Aug. 14 incident in which a man driving his wife’s van ran over two wolves.

“When we first became aware of the post, it was right away something that we knew we needed to take seriously and to look into,” FWP spokesperson Vivica Crowser explained.

FWP is investigating the incident to determine whether or not the wolves were run over intentionally.

The message on Facebook is signed by Lobo Watch’s leader, Toby Bridges, who says he was driving on Interstate 90 near the Idaho-Montana border when he saw a calf, an elk cow, and four wolves.

Bridges wrote that the wolves were going after the calf, and that he decided to let off the brake and hit the accelerator.

The post said, “I was going to save that calf,” and goes on to say he heard two distinct “thumps”. He returned to the scene to find the dead wolf and another hobbling off with a broken leg.

Crowser told MTN news that investigators are now looking for more evidence related to the incident.

“Social media in itself isn’t enough. You have to uncover more through the case as you go along and finding things – like evidence on the scene or through other witnesses,” she said.

Fahy says he believes Montana should do more to protect wolves – especially against an incident like this.

“There’s an archery season, a trapping season, and a general hunting season for wolves. And there is no season to basically run over wolves with automobiles purposely.”

Everything You Do Leaves an Impact, so You Might as Well Be an Ass-teroid

One of hunters’ favorite fallacies these days is some form of the (il)logic that everything you do affects something in some way so you might just as well hunt down big “game.” It’s the same school of thought as, you can never be completely vegan so what’s the point in choosing not to eat animals?

Apparently some folks, with nothing better to do, have been staying up nights wracking their brains to come up with as many ways imaginable that non-hunters, or even vegans, might inadvertently kill animals. Not because these spin-doctors really care about anything except themselves, but because it’s easier to try to break down someone else’s resolve than to look at ones’ own intentional acts of—or collaboration in—cruelty.

After all, nature’s cruel, so you might as well be the cruelest, right? And as long as someone eats who you kill, it’s almost sacred, or something, isn’t it? (But, as PETA put it, “Did the fact that Jeffrey Dahmer ate his victims justify his crimes? What is done with the corpse after a murder doesn’t lessen the victim’s suffering.”)

It’s like saying, you’ll never be Jesus so what’s the point of trying to live the best life you can? Sort of a variation of Lucifer’s “…better to lead in Hell…” credo.

How’s that working out, Satan? Hot enough for you down there?

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Proof That Barbaric Traditions like Hunting and Trapping Can Change: Indian court bans animal sacrifice

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/02/india-court-bans-animal-sacrifice-hindu-temples

Agence France-Presse in Shiml

theguardian.com, Tuesday 2 September 2014 06.03 EDT

 

Goat vendor in India

The court questioned the reasons for animal sacrifices, saying such rituals ‘must change in the modern era’. Photograph: Piyal Adhikary/EPA

A court in remote northern India has banned a long tradition of sacrificing animals for religious reasons, deeming the practice cruel and barbaric.

The high court in Himachal Pradesh has asked police and other officials to enforce its ban on the slaughter, mainly of goats in Hindu temples throughout the state.

“No person will sacrifice any animal in any place of worship. It includes adjoining lands and buildings,” the two-judge bench of the court ruled late on Monday.

“A startling revelation has been made … thousands of animals are sacrificed every year in the name of worship,” the court said.

“Sacrifice causes immense pain and suffering to innocent animals. They cannot be permitted to be sacrificed to appease a god or deity in a barbaric manner,” it said.

The court also questioned the reasons for animal sacrifices, saying such rituals “must change in the modern era”.

The court was ruling on a petition brought by animal rights activists, who applauded the move on Tuesday as long overdue.

“We welcome this ban on animal sacrifice as it will end centuries of cruelty to animals in the name of religion,” local activist Rajeshwar Negi told AFP.

But state lawmaker Maheshwar Singh defended the practice, saying: “This judgment is against the age-old beliefs and customs of many people.”

Goats and sometimes sheep are often sacrificed at the start of winter in temples across Himachal Pradesh with the aim of pleasing Hindu deities.

Animals are symbolically offered to the deity and later taken home by villagers and their guests for eating during the Himalayan state’s bitterly cold winter.

Some of the sacrifices at festivals, including those of “shaand” and “bhunda”, involve large numbers of animals killed using a knife at the entrance of the temples.

If only it was a happy Labor Day for all

herring-07

Per Fish Feel:

http://www.FishFeel.orghttps://www.facebook.com/FishFeel.org

On this Labor Day, give a thought to the human slavery which is rampant in the fishing industry (not solely in Thailand). Please don’t support it or the immense animal suffering inherent with fishing.
“There is no official record of how many men are currently entrapped aboard fishing boats, but the Thai government estimates that up to 300,000 people work within its fishing industry, 90% of whom are migrants vulnerable to being tricked, trafficked and sold to the sea. So that probably means most are being held against their will.”

http://www.worldfishing.net/news101/Comment/analysis/slavery-in-fishing

Slavery in fishing

Aug 2014 Thailand is considered a major source and transit area for slavery. Credit: http://www.rubins.org/GFDL The Thailand prawn farming industry has recently received much negative publicity due to its alleged involvement in fishing slavery, reports Bryan Gibson. A six-month investigation by The Guardian newspaper has established that large numbers of men and young boys are being bought and sold like animals and held against their will on the decks of unseaworthy and usually unregistered trash fish trawlers, which specialise in catching small and juvenile fish species for conversion into processed fish meal for Thai prawn farms. Due to their low (or zero) labour cost, this force of entirely unwilling conscripts has become integral to the commercial production of farmed prawns sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including top global retailers such as Tesco, Walmart, Carrefour, Costco, Aldi, Morrisons, the Co-Operative and Iceland. And it might be considered, that with such an array of powerful buyers capable of erring on the side of right, slavery onboard fishing vessels, or forced labour connected anywhere else within a commercial food-chain, ought to have proven an easy problem to fix. One of the largest producers of prawns is Charoen Pokphand, which sells frozen and cooked prawns in the manufacture of ready meals such as prawn curries and stir fry. CP Foods told WF&A that it categorically condemns any form of forced labour and, following the allegations made in The Guardian report, is committed to ensuring that it plays no part in the company’s supply chain. The company immediately initiated a comprehensive investigation into every step of the supply chain, which is ongoing at this time.Pending the outcome of these investigations, CP Foods has suspended purchasing product for its shrimp feed business from all suppliers except those offering internationally certified, 100% by-product based fishmeal, for which they are able to verify the supply chain of all ingredients. Up to 300,000 fishing slaves are forced to work and live permanently aboard Thai ‘trash fish’ trawlers for years at a time under the threat of extreme violence and often murder. Thai ambassador to the US, Vijavat Isarabhakdi told The Guardian, “Thailand is committed to combatting human trafficking. We know a lot more needs to be done but we have also made significant progress to address the problem.” Although the Thai government has told The Guardian that “combating human trafficking is a national priority”, the newspaper’s undercover investigation unearthed a lawless and unregulated industry run by criminals; assisted in no small measure by the Thai maffia as well as government officials and sustained by the brokers who supply cheap migrant labour to boat owners. “The Thai authorities could get rid of the brokers and arrange legitimate employment,” said one high-ranking Thai official tasked with investigating human trafficking cases on condition of anonymity. “As long as boat owners still depend on brokers, and not the government to supply workers, then the problem will never go away.” Release for the enslaved only arrives when the skipper decides that the $450 he paid to the broker has been fully earned or paid-off by relatives and friends. DowngradeAfter being warned for four consecutive years about not doing enough to tackle slavery, the US Department of State has downgraded Thailand to Tier 3 in its 2014 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. The downgrade means Thailand could potentially face sanctions, which might include the withdrawal of US non-humanitarian and non-trade-related assistance. The Guardian conducted interviews with fishermen, boat captains, boat managers, factory owners and Thai officials from fishing ports. Thailand enjoys prime position as the world’s largest prawn exporter within a seafood-export industry estimated to be worth $7.3bn. Via multinational companies such as CP Foods, Thailand exports 500,000 tonnes of prawns annually, nearly 10% of which is farmed by CP Foods. Although slavery is illegal in every country in the world, it is estimated that 21 million men, women and children are enslaved globally, according to the International Labour Organisation. Human rights activists believe that Thailand’s seafood-export industry would collapse without slavery. They say there is little incentive for the Thai government to take a positive stance and have called for consumers and international retailers to demand action. Whenever a population becomes isolated and excluded from the political, commercial or sociological mainstream, it runs the risk of unreasonable and illegal exploitation. Thailand is considered a major source and transit area for slavery, and nearly half a million people are believed to be enslaved within Thailand’s borders. There is no official record of how many men are currently entrapped aboard fishing boats, but the Thai government estimates that up to 300,000 people work within its fishing industry, 90% of whom are migrants vulnerable to being tricked, trafficked and sold to the sea. So that probably means most are being held against their will. Aidan McQuade of Anti Slavery International states, “There are over 5.5 million children in forced labour throughout the world, and if you buy prawns from Thailand, inevitably, you are buying the product of slave labour.” And for any commercial fisherman with a vestige of caring for his fellow mankind and is searching for a new and legitimate catch source, then taking-up the legal, moral and sustainable catching of Atlantic prawns and langoustines anywhere in the upper northern hemisphere, this might be a very good place for him to start. – See more at: http://www.worldfishing.net/news101/Comment/analysis/slavery-in-fishing#sthash.9f9h4MYl.dpuf
 

So Not Like an Elephant

Find and prosecute the cruel men who kicked a squirrel off the edge of the Grand Canyon

Petition byJaya Bhumitra  http://www.change.org/petitions/find-and-prosecute-the-cruel-men-who-kicked-a-squirrel-off-the-edge-of-the-grand-canyon


On August 2, 2014, news outlets reported that two men (French-speaking) lured a squirrel to the edge of the Grand Canyon with treats — only to then cruelly kick the innocent and unassuming creature over the edge. 

At its highest point, the Grand Canyon is 6,000 feet high.

This heinous act was premeditated: the men carefully placed the food in a manner to entrap the squirrel, before one of the men deliberately put on his sneaker in order to punt the squirrrel off the landing.

Not only is this act completely callous to the squirrel who no doubt experienced total terror while finding herself in free fall for thousands of feet and at hundreds of miles per hour before her likely death, but this type of consciously planned animal abuse has been reported as typical sociopathic behavior, which sometimes leads to serial killing (both of non-human and human animals).

The men responsible MUST be found and prosecuted for their actions. No tourist nor American citizen should be permitted to harm an animal in any circumstance, particularly in a national park where the environment and animals in it are officially protected by the state.

Sign the petition now to ask both the National Park Servce and Interpol to find these abusers and bring them to justice!

(YouTube has removed the video due to the disturbing content, though you can see it in this Huffington Post article. Photo credit to YouTube and The Daily Mail article).

Petition to cancel a show that glorifies killing sharks

NBC @NBCSN : Cancel #SharkHunters #sharks

Andrew Mills
Carmel, Indiana

The NBC Sports show Shark Hunters glorifies and promotes the killing of sharks, amazing animals already under pressure from overfishing, finning and environmental pollution. And all three of the species hunted on Shark Hunters are listed as “Vulnerable” by The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

The show features three tournaments that give financial prizes for bringing in dead sharks from 3 species: mako, thresher and porbeagle. NBC should not be glamorizing the killing of vulnerable sharks under the pretense of “sport” or “sustainable fishing”.

Programs like this not only glamorize shark hunting and killing but also make the whole action “OK”. Sharks play an important role in our oceans and if we continue to hunt them, our ocean’ss health will continue to decline.

Change.org petitions have successfully convinced other channels, like National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, to cancel other violent hunting shows. I’m sure with enough signatures, we can get NBC to listen.

Please join me in asking NBC and it partners to cancel Shark Hunters!

BREAKING: Facebook removes hunting photos of Texas teen that raised ire

Featured Image -- 6409

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-texas-hunting-facebook-20140702,0,2940032.story

Reuters

July 2, 2014

DALLAS (Reuters) – Facebook has removed some photographs of a Texas teenager posing with freshly killed animals she hunted during a recent safari in South Africa that had been criticized by users as inappropriate, the company said on Wednesday.

Kendall Jones, 19, a cheerleader at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, set off a social media storm after she posted a series of photos of animals she killed, smiling in one picture as she hugs a lifeless leopard hanging limply from her arms.

Facebook said some photos were deleted from her page because they violated its policies regarding animal images.

“We remove reported content that promotes poaching of endangered species, the sale of animals for organized fight or content that includes extreme acts of animal abuse,” the company said. It did not provide specific information about the photos removed.

Comre Safaris, a company in South Africa that organizes licensed hunts, said the number of animals killed by Jones fell within a quota set by the country’s wildlife department.

Jones defended her actions, saying in a Facebook post she took inspiration from former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, a hunter and conservationist.

“How can it be possible that someone can love the earth, and take from the earth in the name of conservation? For some folks, they’ll never understand. For the rest of us … we were born that way. God Bless Teddy,” Jones said.

But criticism was heavy, with one post branding the hunts barbaric garnering 20,000 comments. More than 130,000 people signed an online petition asking Facebook to remove Jones’ photos, saying they promoted animal cruelty.

“You can see the thrill in her expression and eyes from these photos that she enjoyed the KILLING of these animals,” read one post.

Many cash-strapped African governments allow a small number of big game animals to be killed each year, using the money from the sale of hunting licenses for conservation.

The hunts are held under international guidelines meant to ensure they do not adversely affect overall species numbers.