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The Tourism Industry

Advocacy through tourism for an end to the dog and cat meat trade

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Travel Advice for Tourists

How to keep yourself safe from the dangers of the dog and cat meat trade

The dog and cat meat trade sees an estimated 10 million dogs and several million cats captured, transported, beaten and killed each year across Southeast Asia. FOUR PAWS aims to protect the millions of tourists that visit Southeast Asia and help you to spot signs of the trade.

How to Avoid Dog and Cat Meat

Travellers often seek new experiences whilst abroad but should be aware that some food items can present a health risk and have negative impacts on the local community. Here’s how to spot dog and cat meat on the menu.




Avoid food items referred to as “thịt chó”, “thịt mèo” or “thit cay” (cat meat). "Chó hấp” (steamed dog meat), “rựa mận” (dog meat with galangal, shrimp sauce, fermented rice), and “chó nướng” (baked dog meat).





Avoid food items referred to as “B2” or “RW”.





Avoid food items referred to as “Special meat – “សាច់ពិសេស”, which is usually dog meat. This includes “ការីសាច់ឆ្កែ” (dog meat curry); “សាច់អាំង” (BBQ dog meat) and “សម្លរម្ជូរគ្រឿង” (sour soup with dog meat).


Staying Safe Around Street Dogs

Although some street dogs can be friendly, FOUR PAWS would not recommend that you feed stray animals and that you keep a safe distance. Stray dogs are also vulnerable to numerous health problems, particularly rabies. If you are travelling to an area of Southeast Asia that is highlighted by your government as rabies prevalent, take extra care around street dogs and if advised, receive the rabies vaccination before you travel.

Never run away

Running away can trigger a dog’s hunting instinct, which tells them to chase you. It’s better to walk away slowly to avoid triggering that instinct. If you’re on a bicycle or motorbike, slow to a halt and wait for the dog to leave.

Avoid confronting a pack

Dogs are pack animals and tend to stay in groups, where they can protect each other. If you are out walking and spot a group of dogs, it’s advisable not to go near. Dogs are territorial animals, and if they feel threatened, they could confront you. Be especially careful at night: in the dark you may not be able to see all the dogs around you.

If you do happen to wander into a pack, stay calm and move away slowly. Don’t make any sudden movements, shout or run. Keep your arms close to your body.

Avoid sending dominance signals

Dogs are very good at reading our body language and some types of human behaviour will be perceived as threatening; these include staring at them, yelling, waving arms about and walking directly towards them. Avoid these behaviours and try sending calming signals such as yawning, avoiding eye contact and standing sideways to the dog.

Ask locals for help

If you feel threatened by dogs in the street or around a temple, you could try calling to a local for assistance. Many of the dogs will be regulars in the area and are likely to respond better to someone they know (such as a monk or caregiver).

As a last resort

While we strongly recommend keeping calm and behaving in a non-confrontational way, if you feel very threatened, you could crouch down and pretend to pick up a rock. But don’t actually throw anything at the dog! Sometimes, pretending to pick something up can make a dog run away (a sad reflection of the regular abuse that many stray dogs suffer at human hands).

Worst case scenario

If you do find yourself in a situation where you are attacked by dogs, try to fend them off with a backpack or stick. If you end up on the ground, protect your head and vital organs. Lie down and curl up in a ball, using your arms to cover your head. Then try to keep still, even though this may be difficult. The dogs are more likely to lose interest in you if you stay calm. Once the dogs have moved away, slowly get up and leave. Get yourself to a safe place and visit a hospital as soon as possible.

Information for Tour Operators and Travel Agencies

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Why Join Us

We cannot eradicate rabies without ending the dog and cat meat trade. COVID-19 has also shown us the public health risks associated with live animal trades

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We stand united with the travel and tourism sector to protect millions of tourists, communities, and animals from the dangers of the dog and cat meat trade in Southeast Asia

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Tour operators & travel agencies: If you would like more information on our work or how best to collaborate, please contact us at:

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