International groups, UF shelter medicine alum, hold Vietnam summit to end dog meat trade in Asia

Dr. Katherine PolakAnimal advocates, including a Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program alum, met in in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, last month to discuss and develop a collaborative strategy to tackle the illegal trafficking of dogs to supply the nation’s brutal dog meat trade.

The Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) consisting of Change for Animals Foundation, Animals Asia, FOUR PAWS. and Humane Society International, hosted the workshop with 10 local animal shelters and rescue groups from throughout the country.

All the groups pledged their support for an exciting plan to help support the Vietnamese government in its quest to stop the illegal, cruel, and dangerous trade, affecting an estimated 5 million dogs per year.

UF MSMP graduate Dr. Katherine Polak helped lead the workshop, and delivered talks on “Medical Considerations of Dogs Intercepted from the Meat Trade.”

“We believe that by uniting our voices and resources, and by working collaboratively with the government, we can achieve the greatest impact for the animals in such desperate need for change,” the ACPA said.

ACPA will soon be submitting an official proposal to the government that will outline practical and collaborative activities to target the trade and to secure public and political support for an end to this horror.

“This is a huge breakthrough and hopefully the start of long-term change for animals in Vietnam,” said Dr. Polak.