Today’s New York Times reports on Humane Society International’s major campaign to end the dog meat trade in South Korea, the only nation that eats dog meat and raises dogs on farms for the plate. There, in the run-up to the 2018 Winter Olympics, we’ve been converting dog farmers to humane alternatives, we’ve been rescuing dogs and bringing them back to the United States for an extraordinary second chance, and we’re ratcheting up public awareness everywhere to phase out this appalling industry.
During my tenure as CEO of The HSUS, we’ve grown our international footprint dramatically, because animal cruelty knows no boundaries and the fight against it must be waged on a global scale. Factory farming, the wildlife trade, animal testing, animal fighting, horse slaughter, the dog meat trade, and the challenge of helping homeless dogs and cats are all issues that affect nations across the planet, and they involve a staggering number of animals.
Today, Humane Society International works in about 50 countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom, as well as in Europe and many Latin American countries. In each of these countries we partner with local organizations and help build coalitions to protect animals who previously had no support.
Every week, there are gains. We launched a first-ever humane dog management program in Nepal last month. And only three months after the launch of the HSI Mexico office, we stopped the centuries-old festival Kots Kaal Pato in the Yucatan, where animals were hung like piñatas and beaten to death. Here are just a few other recent gains:
-A ban on production and sale of foie gras from force feeding this week in Goiania, the second state capital in Brazil to prohibit the product, and a cosmetics-testing ban in the Brazilian state of Pará, the fourth in the country to enact such a ban.
-A ban on the import of dogs for breeding in India, where some breeds are not suited to the tropical climate and are often discarded, leading to an increase in the population of street dogs. Also in India, the nation’s high court upheld a ban on the fighting of bulbul birds in the state of Assam.
-A ban on the ivory trade in France, not long after the Netherlands introduced the European Union’s strictest ban on trophy-hunting imports.
-A commitment from Switzerland to end the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.
-A commitment from Canada to source 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025.
-An expansion of the dolphin-safe label protection to all fisheries and countries seeking to import tuna into the United States.
No one has a bigger impact on animals than The HSUS and its international affiliate HSI. But to do this life-saving work – on so many fronts, with so many species in crisis – we need your help and engagement.
We plan on expanding the scope of our work, with HSI opening offices or growing its footprint this year in South Africa, Vietnam, South Korea, Bangladesh, and Brazil. We want to bring transformational changes for animals all over the world. Help us help all animals – everywhere.