Global Work & Travel show their support for the work of FOUR PAWS and take the pledge to #ProtectMillions as part of the campaign to end the dog and cat meat trade

Animal welfare is an essential component of sustainable tourism, with the present Covid-19 crisis revealing that our exploitation of animals can have devastating global consequences.

Travel companies like Global Work & Travel have established animal welfare policies and a fund to aid animals in need, and we at FOUR PAWS were thrilled when they signed the pledge in support of our campaign #ProtectMillions. #ProtectMillions centres on animal welfare, the tourism industry and the current crisis, with the objective of reducing animal suffering and the spread of zoonotic diseases. The specific purpose of the campaign is to bring an end to the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia, which causes horrific suffering to millions of animals. As part of the campaign, we are inviting travel agencies worldwide to take a pledge to show support and take a stand against this terrible trade.

#ProtectMillions Campaign

#ProtectMillions was launched to bring an end to the suffering of an estimated 10 million dogs and cats who are slaughtered annually in Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam alone. The trade causes immense animal suffering and poses a significant public health risk; it involves capturing dogs and cats, transporting and imprisoning them in horrific and unsanitary conditions, and then finally butchering them for consumption.

By taking the pledge, travel agencies demonstrate support for our campaign and help their clients, inbound communities, and the millions of animals who suffer due to the trade.  This support provides FOUR PAWS with additional influence when we work with governments to encourage the enactment of policies and legislation to end the dog and cat meat trade.

#ProtectMillions is currently backed by over 830,000+ people internationally, and you can join this movement too, by signing the petition here.

About FOUR PAWS

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, animals used for fashion, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, Hungary, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

FOUR PAWS run multiple programs in Southeast Asia, providing veterinary care, undertaking rescues, investigations, and working to initiate policy and legislative changes. We work with partner organisations, communities and governments. We are working on closing slaughterhouses in Cambodia, helping traders to transition to new livelihoods.

Traumatic for Tourists

The dog and cat meat trade is inherently cruel and poses a threat to both animal and human health due to the spread of zoonotic diseases – but it is also traumatic for the residents and tourists who witness any part of the trade, which is widespread.

Recent research into tourism and animal welfare highlights the importance for travellers to be protected from distressing scenes of cruelty; 90% of respondents said it is important that their travel company takes animal welfare seriously, and 60% agreed they would not visit a country because of the dog and cat meat trade that occurs there.

How Zoonotic Diseases Emerge and Spread

Animal trades have been proven to be a causative factor in previous disease outbreaks, and we are being warned of future threats unless we take action to mitigate risk now. The trade in wild and domestic animals creates a breeding ground for diseases. Masses of animals are imprisoned in unsanitary conditions, many of whom are ill or become ill due to the traumatic and unhygienic conditions of the trade. These animals are often transported across long distances and then cruelly slaughtered in contaminated facilities. Anyone working within the trade and those who come into contact with the trade, including tourists and local communities, are at risk.

FOUR PAWS Programs Coordinator – My Travel Experiences

Tourism is crucial for many countries and it is important that travellers engage in experiences which are protective of animals and communities, ensuring compassion and sustainability within tourism.

It is wonderful to see travel companies like Global Work & Travel demonstrate their commitment through their policies and by supporting our campaign #ProtectMillions.

I have travelled to Indonesia and Vietnam, volunteering at several organisations, including Vietnam Cat Welfare, with whom FOUR PAWS partners, and Animal Friends Manado Indonesia, for whom FOUR PAWS has provided vital veterinary assistance. I cared for rescued cats and dogs, including those rescued from the animal trade. I witnessed the dangers of the trade and met many other travellers who either held the same concerns or were shocked when they learnt about the trade upon arrival.

There is much suffering and a great need for change but with the support of the tourism industry, together we can aid animals in need and reduce the spread of zoonotic diseases, so please join us and help #ProtectMillions.