Animal Support Recommends New Laws to Prevent Animal Cruelty and Stop Smugglers in Thailand

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Dr. Michael Omidi, Julian Omidi and Maria Abaca, co-founders of Animal Support, are shocked by recent reports of animal cruelty in Thailand by smugglers selling dogs and exotic animals for human consumption. Animal Support recommends harsher new laws to prosecute smugglers for their heinous crimes.

As reported February 7, 2013 by the Christian Science Monitor, the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) was recently formed by a coalition of animal welfare groups to crack down on the illegal trade of dogs and exotic animals for human consumption. The ACPA is comprised of the groups Animals Asia, Change for Animals Foundation, Humane Society International and Soi Dog Foundation.

On February 4, 2013 the New York Times reported that over the past two years more than 46,000 exotic animals have been rescued from traffickers, vendors and trappers, more than double the 18,000 seized the two previous years. Officials estimate that up to 300,000 wild and stray dogs are captured each year primarily in Thailand and smuggled into Vietnam and other countries to be sold as meat.

In Asia and other parts of the world, dog meat is historically considered part of a traditional diet. This puts nations and cultures at odds since eating dog meat is taboo in the West. Animal Support understands that these historical, social, cultural and even religious differences may never be resolved. However, there is an important distinction to be made between livestock animals raised as humanely as possible under government regulation versus animals which are horrifically treated and butchered by illegal smugglers. Regardless of our differences, we can all agree that animal cruelty is not acceptable in any society.

Animal Support is concerned about another more important health issue related to the illegal trade of dogs and other exotic animals. “The risk that the animals are in poor health and not vaccinated is very high. If they move across borders they risk carrying the disease across large distances,” says Betsy Miranda, Asia coordinator for the Global Alliance for Rabies Control.

A June 3, 2013 report from CNN reveals that although smuggling dogs and exotic animals is illegal in Thailand, many claim the laws are not clear and smugglers often receive light sentences because there are no direct laws against animal cruelty. According to Soi Dog Foundation founder John Dalley, "Some of the (video) footage we receive is so horrific it's too strong even for the media to run. It's so inhumane ... it's quite literally hell on earth." The ACPA will work with the governments of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam on improving enforcement of existing regulations and to draft new animal welfare laws. Animal Support co-founder Maria Abaca gives voice to the mission of her organization stating, “Anyone who cares about the beauty of living creatures must make their voice heard about these heinous crimes.”

Animal Support (http://www.animalsupport.org) is dedicated to addressing pet over-population and abuse by promoting charities working on behalf of animal well-being. The organization was founded by brothers Dr. Michael Omidi and Julian Omidi along with Maria Abaca to advocate for animal protection, rescue, adoption, and spay and neuter laws. Animal Support does not accept donations but encourages direct contributions of money and talents to the charities and organizations featured on our website. For more information about Animal Support, send a message using the website’s Contact Us function, check out Animal Support on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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