Welcome to Animal Protection Network
Animal Protection Network is a Swedish non-profit organization with the primary purpose of ending the abuse of cats and dogs in Asia.
About Animal Protection Network
Animal Protection Network is a Swedish non-profit organization, founded in Stockholm in 2004. Our mission statement is to end the abuse and slaughter of cats and dogs in Asia, especially the different ways in which cats and dogs are tortured before being killed for the purpose of consumption or to be used as fur. We also work to save bears exploited for their bile at Chinese bile farms, as well as in other parts of the world.
APN supports the following animal welfare projects:
Animal Kingdom Foundation, Philippines: www.animalkingdomfoundation.org
Animals Asia Foundation, China: www.animalsasia.org
Soi Dog Foundation, Thailand: www.soidog.org
Help in Suffering, Kalimpong Animal Shelter, India: www.his-india.org.au/kalimpong.html
Through our Swedish support members, Animal Protection Network is raising funds for Asian animal rights organizations’ local operations.
As a result, Animal Protection Network does not have any staff located in Asia. Instead, all the actual work on site is performed by Asian nationals working in their own country.
- Raising the status of dogs and cats in Asia (Regularly mistreated as a result of their low status in the local culture and tradition).
- Working for an import ban on cat and dog fur in Sweden and the European Union.
- Working toward enforcement of the South Korean law which prohibits the slaughtering of dogs and cats. It is currently not being enforced.
- Working to end the illegal slaughter of several hundred thousand dogs each year in the Philippines.
- Creating an enforced animal rights law in all countries.
- Creating an aware and educated public who no longer consume the products from suffering dogs and cats.
In order for Animal Protection Network to reach our goal, we are supporting local animal rights organizations in Asia who are working in three different ways:
- Lobbying in order to create a legal change. More and better laws are required.
- Educating the public for long term results.
- Rescuing individual cats and dogs and providing veterinary attention, spaying and neutering and adoption programs, and support for rescue centers.
- Confiscating dog and cat meat and fur products and transport systems.
APN’s work is performed very cost-effectively, with a minimum level of administration and close cooperation with organizations in Asia. Our administrative costs are kept down through the use of automatic banking. Accountability and cost-effectiveness are closely monitored. Thanks to this, we are able to donate almost 100% of incoming funds to save animals in Asia.
Since APN receives approximately the same amount of money each month, we can easier plan future projects. This provides our partner organizations with stability and security. Animal Protection Network is currently run on a completely voluntary basis, and no salaries are paid. APN also has no expenses related to office rental.
Animal Protection Network was founded in May 2004 by Carina Olsson, Pia Hall, and Anna Almberg. The organization was founded on our desire bring about change in the current situation for cats and dogs in Asia. The awareness was primarily raised with Manfred Karreman’s film about cats and dogs tortured to death in the fur industry. This documentary was broadcasted on Swedish cable TV during fall 2002.
The slaughter of cats and dogs in Asia
Each year, a total of 13-16 million dogs and 4 million cats are slaughtered every year in Asia to be used for human consumption. The meat is often considered to be a “health food” and is even thought to enhance men’s sexual ability.
A common myth in Asia is that the dog’s or cat’s adrenaline makes the meat healthier and tastier. In order to raise the content of adrenaline, the animals are being tortured to death in various ways.
Facts about cat and dog meat
The abuse related to cat and dog meat are usually intentional and the methods of slaughter are meant to increase the suffering in belief that torture will make the “product” better.
Even when torture is not intentional, the methods of slaughter are still painful. Markets in China reveal that cats and dogs are often left to die a long and often violent death. The animal is often stabbed in the neck or throat, electrocuted, strung up, beaten with a bat in the head, or thrown into boiling water, all while the animal is still conscious.
There are several contradicting myths about dog meat. In summertime, Koreans eat dog meat to “cool down”. In China, however, dog meat is consumed during winter in order to stay warm..
Despite common belief, the human consumption of dog meat is a relatively new phenomenon and it was never a part of the traditional Asian cuisine. Instead, the claim that cat and dog meat has a long-time cultural foundation is only a PR trick in order to make use of a cheap and easily accessible product.
Dog meat is consumed in enormous amounts in China and Korea, but also, to a lesser degree, in parts of Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Myanmar, the former Soviet Union, Thailand, and Vietnam. In many of these countries, the slaughter of dogs has only been performed for a few generations. Cats are primarily eaten in China, Korea, and parts of Indonesia.
The estimated number of dogs that are slaughtered for consumption in Asia, was in 2003 somewhere between 13 and 16 millions (source: Animal People). The total number of cats was thought to be 4 million last year.
In South Korea, up to 30 % of all slaughtered dogs are believed to be stolen pets.
In Hong Kong, South Korea, and the Philippines it is illegal to eat dogs. Despite this, the number of slaughtered dogs is increasing every year.
Countries without animal protection laws
Several countries in Asia are completely without animal protection laws. No regulations exist about how to keep and treat animals, or how they are being slaughtered.
In other countries, like South Korea and the Philippines, where the slaughter of cats and dogs is illegal, the laws are not being enforced and this kind of meat is not uncommon in restaurants.
Our partner organization in the Philippines, Animal Kingdom Foundation, has been instrumental in the creation of the law against dog slaughter. Since this law came into effect, the number of slaughtered dogs has decreased from 1 million to 100,000. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, since the law is not being enforced, and strong lobby groups are pushing for the law’s removal. In South Korea, a total of 2 million dogs are slaughtered each year.
Cats and dogs are purposely tortured in several Asian countries in the belief that meat with a high content of adrenaline is tastier, healthier and even enhances men’s sexual ability. Dogs and cats are also skinned alive for fur. Every day, approx. 40,000 dogs are slaughtered in Asia.
Animal Protection Network is supporting Asian animal rights organizations who are lobbying to change current laws, as well as saving dogs from illegal slaughterhouses.
Last year, a total of 13-16 million dogs and 4 million cats were slaughtered in Asia. This situation has to change NOW! Please help us end animal suffering.
Short facts about dog meat in Asia, country by country:
Dog meat has been a source of food in parts of China from at least the time of Confucius, and possibly even before. Ancient writings from the Zhou Dynasty referred to the “three beasts”(which were bred for food), i.e. pig, goat, and dog. Mencius, the philosopher, recommended dog as the tastiest of all meats.
In the past in China, during a hard season when the food store was depleted, dogs were occasionally slaughtered as an emergency food supply. Today it is consumed for its perceived medicinal value of increasing the positive energy of one’s body (the yang), and helping to regulate blood circulation. Due to this belief, people eat dog meat in the winter to help to keep themselves warm.
Contrary to urban legends, the Chinese do not eat pet dogs such as Chihuahuas. Dogs being eaten are raised specifically for meat. The animals are slaughtered between 6 and 12 months of age for best size and tenderness.
Despite being a socially acceptable practice, the average Chinese does not usually consume dog meat as it is relatively expensive compared to other meat choices and hence generally more accessible to affluent Chinese. More concentrated dog meat consumption areas in China are in the northeast, south and southwestern areas. Peixian County in Northern Jiangsu is well-known in China for the production of a dog-meat stew flavored with soft-shelled turtle.
The Chinese normally cook the dog meat by stewing it with thick gravy or by roasting it. One method of preparing the dog carcass is by immersion in boiling water, allowing the skin to be peeled off in one pull.
In Hong Kong, a local ordinance dating from British colonial times, which has been retained after the handover to Chinese sovereignty, prohibits the slaughter of any dog or cat for use as food, whether for mankind or otherwise, on pain of fine and imprisonment. Four local men were sentenced to 30 days imprisonment in December 2006 for having slaughtered two dogs. In an earlier case, in February of 1998, a Hongkonger was sentenced to one month imprisonment and a fine of two thousand HK dollars for hunting street dogs for food. Apart from this, a large proportion of Hong Kong residents are currently against the consumption of dog meat.
China is the only exporter of dog meat to Japan and exported 31 ton in 2006. In Japan dog meat is available in Korean towns such as Tsuruhashi, Osaka and Okubo, Tokyo. Korean residents in Japan frequent dog meat restaurants there.
Dog is eaten as an emergency food in some remote, mountainous parts of North-East India such as Mizoram and Nagaland. 
In Indonesia, the consumption of dog meat is usually associated with the Minahasa, a Christian ethnic group in northern Sulawesi, who consider dog meat to be a festive dish and usually reserve it for special occasions like weddings and Christmas.
Gaegogi literally means “dog meat” in Korean. Gaegogi, however, is often mistaken as the term for Korean soup made from dog meat, bosintang. Though proponents claim that dogs used for food are a special breed, the soup may be made from any breed of dog. Lean dog meat is preferred for bosintang compared to fatty one, such as Siberian husky, while the latter is also suitable for Gaesoju, Korean medicinal dog wine. The distaste felt by dog lovers, particularly from the West, with respect to eating dog has made this dish controversial in recent years. About 2-3 million dogs are consumed in South Korea every year that corresponds to more than one trillion South Korean won.
The consumption of dog meat can be traced back many years. Dog bones were excavated in a neolithic settlement in Changnyeong, South Gyeongsang Province. One of the wall paintings in the Goguryeo tombs complex in South Hwangghae Province, a UNESCO World Heritage site which dates from 4th century AD, depicts a slaughtered dog in a storehouse.
Types of dishes:
- bosintang – dog stew including dog meat as its primary ingredient.
- gaejangguk – dog meat soup.
- gaesuyuk – boiled dog meat.
- gaesoju – a fermented drink that is distilled by cooking the dog in a double boiler. Dog’s penis used to be added as a medicine to supplement energy.
- duruchigi – pan-fried dog meat with gravy and vegetables.
- jeongol – hot pot.
- dog burger, dog meat cutlet, dog meatball, etc.
Use of dogs for meat and the methods of slaughter used have generated friction between dog lovers, both Western and Korean, and people who eat dogs; the conflict occasionally breaks out as headline news. During the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea’s capital city, the South Korean government asked its citizens not to consume dog meat to avoid bad publicity during the games. It has been illegal to eat dog meat in the Philippines since the early nineties. Another part of the controversy stems from the methods of slaughter, which include beating to death by clubs (common in the countryside) and hanging (offenses in Korea under the Animal Protection Act 1991 although it does not include dogs as animals for human consumption), in order to get more adrenaline into the flesh to make it taste better. However, such methods are no longer common in industry, where generally instant electrocution is employed for economic reasons. In 2007, a South Korean online dog meat retailer opened in April but closed in July due to a flood of demands to the local officials to “shut down the site for selling illegal (dog) meat.” A government official said, “Under the food sanitation law, animals that are not examined according to livestock processing regulations are not allowed to be sold as food… However, we will not be taking strong measures to regulate the practice since we have a tradition and culture of eating dog meat and many people enjoy it.”
Today in Korea, a segment of the population enjoy bosintang (literally “invigorating soup”) for its supposed “medicinal” properties. Dog meat is also widely believed to keep one cool during the intense Korean summer. Dog meat is also believed to improve male virility, although there is no medical evidence to support these claims. Many Korean Buddhists consider eating meat an offense, which includes dog meat. Unlike beef, pork, or poultry, dog meat has no legal status as food in South Korea, which has caused the industry to go underground, with no official guidelines to address concerns over hygiene and animal welfare. Some in South Korea and abroad believe that dog meat should be legalized so that only authorized preparers can deal with the meat in more humane and sanitary ways, while others think that the practice should be banned by law. During the FIFA World Cup, in the face of foreign pressure to ban the sale of dog meat, a group of prominent South Koreans wrote an open letter in support of dog-eating. South Korea’s top soccer official said that FIFA had no business interfering in his country’s eating habits. Supporters of dog-eating held rallies against FIFA and launched a campaign to promote dog meat.
The opinion of the younger generation of Koreans towards eating dog meat is beginning to turn, as many are beginning to view dogs only as pets, and not a source of food.In a 2006 survey of 1025 South Koreans, 55% had eaten dog meat at least once( 81% of those in their fifties, 67% of those in their forties, 64% of those in their sixties, 59% of those in their thirties, 60% of teens, and 46% of those in their twenties). 64% claim to eat dog meat 1 to 3 times per year, 17% 4 to 6 times, and 11% 7 to 10 times. This amounts to a total average of 4.6 times per year per person, at 300 grams per meal. 75% think dog meat should not be banned, and many support the improvement of the sanitary conditions rather than animal welfare.
Defenders of Korean dog meat cuisine, including politicians, frequently take pride in it as a symbol of Korean nationalism, and criticize campaigns against dog meat as “an invasion of Western imperialism on Korean tradition.” 
In the capital city of Manila, Metro Manila Commission Ordinance 82-05 specifically prohibits the killing and selling of dogs for food. More generally, the Philippine Animal Welfare Act 1998 prohibits the killing of any animal other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles except in the following instances:
When it is done as part of the religious rituals of an established religion or sect or a ritual required by tribal or ethnic custom of indigenous cultural communities; however, leaders shall keep records in cooperation with the Committee on Animal Welfare;
When the pet animal is afflicted with an incurable communicable disease as determined and certified by a duly licensed veterinarian;
When the killing is deemed necessary to put an end to the misery suffered by the animal as determined and certified by a duly licensed veterinarian;
When it is done to prevent an imminent danger to the life or limb of a human being;
When done for the purpose of animal population control;
When the animal is killed after it has been used in authorized research or experiments; and
Any other ground analogous to the foregoing as determined and certified by a licensed veterinarian.
Nevertheless, as is reported from time to time in Philippine newspapers, the eating of dog meat is not uncommon in the Philippines. DogMeatTrade.com,an organization working in the Philippines to eliminate the eating of dogs in the country, estimates that 500,000 dogs are killed annually in the Philippine Islands for human consumption.
In the Province of Benguet, Resolution 05-392 has been passed declaring, among other things, “it has been an evolved cultural practice of indigenous peoples of the Cordillera the butchering of animals, dogs included, as part of their rituals and practices leading to its commercialization to a limited extent, and had become an inevitable common necessity in their way of life”; and resolving, among other things, “to seek the help and assistance of the Committee on Animal Welfare, Department of Agriculture, the Regional Police Office, Cordillera Administrative Region, the Provincial Police Office, Benguet Province, for the proper observance of the said rights of indigenous peoples”.
Dog meat is sometimes eaten in Thailand, mostly as a breakfast food.
Eating dogs has never been commonplace in Taiwan, but it is particularly eaten in the winter months, especially black dogs, which are believed to help retain body warmth. In 2004, the Taiwanese government imposed a ban on the sale of dog meat, due to both pressure from domestic animal welfare groups and a desire to improve international perceptions, although there were some protests. According to Lonely Planet’s Taiwan guide, it is still possible to find dog meat on some restaurant menus, but this is becoming increasingly rare.
A dog meat platter found in a street market a few miles east of Hanoi. While not a common meat, dog meat is consumed throughout Vietnam to varying degrees of acceptability, though more predominantly in the north. There are about seven dishes featuring dog meat, and they often include the head, feet and internal organs. On Nhat Tan Street, Tây HÓ District, Hanoi, many restaurants serve dog meat, often imitating each other. Groups of customers, usually male, seated on mats, will spend their evenings sharing plates of dog meat and drinking alcohol. Dog meat is supposed to raise the libido and is sometimes considered unsuitable for women; in other words, eating dog meat serves as a male bonding exercise. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for women to eat dog meat. The consumption of dog meat can be part of a ritual usually occurring toward the end of the lunar month for reasons of astrology and luck. Restaurants which mainly exist to serve dog meat may only open for the last half of the lunar month..