Animal abuse is a major scourge in Asia. The plight of cats, dogs and elephants…

ANIMALS – In Asia, whether it be in China, Thailand, Korea or the Philippines, the most atrocious practices involving animal abuse are legion. Here are a few examples of animal suffering that is still far too widespread on this continent, and which has to be abolished.

Thousands of cats and dogs are slaughtered everyday

Every year, millions of cats and dogs are slaughtered and tortured in archaic and barbaric ways in many Asian countries. Thousands of “artisanal” dog and cat slaughterhouses exist across the continent, including in South Korea, the Philippines, China, Thailand and Vietnam. In north-eastern Thailand alone, as many as 30,000 dogs are slaughtered every month. In the Philippines, a small slaughterhouse can kill more than 100 cats a day. The conditions in which the animals are kept are equally despicable. They are crammed into tiny, unsanitary cages where they cannot even move.

These animals are tortured, beaten, bludgeoned, scalded alive, skinned alive, suffocated, hanged, electrocuted, burned alive, have their throats slit, drowned with hoses… nothing is spared them! The suffering inflicted on dogs and cats is necessarily long because of the beliefs of those who consume their meat. All terrorised animals are martyred and violently beaten before their death since the adrenaline they feel is believed to make their meat juicier, more tender and aphrodisiac.

In South Korea, for example, cats are sold live, paws tied, in local markets and to various restaurants. Several techniques are used to kill them, each of which is more inhumane than the last. They are thrown alive into pots of boiling water, or thrown together into jute bags and beaten hard against the ground before being skinned alive and boiled. Some even burn them alive with a gas torch to remove their fur. Ginger, dates and chestnuts are added to the cat meat to make the popular Goyangi-soju…

Elephants are trained through annihilation!

In many Asian countries, especially Thailand, elephant rides are highly popular with tourists. But how do you get such docile and perfectly trained animals? Well through a very specific training that is actually similar to torture.

There are only 35,000 to 40,000 wild elephants alive in Asia. To this number should be added the estimated 15,000+ domesticated elephants. If you ever go to Asia, you will certainly meet these majestic pachyderms whose eyes are so sensitive, and you will certainly be offered to climb on their backs to enjoy a little ride.

This attraction delights hundreds of thousands of tourists every year in Asia, especially in Thailand. Unfortunately, behind these rides lies a dark reality that few tourists are aware of. “Torture” may sound like a strong word, but it is actually the sad reality. To be fair “torture” is even an understatement according to the testimony of all those who have seen with their own eyes the extent of this unspeakable cruelty. Indeed, to be trained, the elephants undergo a ritual called “phajaan”.

The principle is straightforward: “break the spirit” of the elephant. Phajaan comes from the ancient belief that an elephant’s mind can be separated from its body so that it loses its reflexes and natural wild instincts and becomes completely at the mercy of man. In practical terms, this means subduing the elephant until he accepts to do whatever he is told.

A United Nations report entitled Gone Astray states that this method is common in India, Myanmar and Thailand. The elephant is locked in a heavy-duty cage, secured with ropes to prevent him from moving, including his head. The goal is to crush the elephant’s spirit. The advocates of these practices claim that this allows the elephant to learn the basic commands “halt” and “silence” without danger. This is supposed to allow him to adapt to his new environment.

National Geographic reports the practice of hitting an elephant with nails and stakes in its ears and feet during annihilation training in Thailand. Other reports denounce the use of sticks, chains, sleep, food and water deprivation to “annihilate” the elephant and submit him to his owner. Each of these techniques is just as dreadful as the next.

Zoos used physical violence and negative reinforcement to tame elephants until the mid-1970s, as it is the case in the USA. A new technique called ‘protected contact’ or ‘non-domination’ is now used in modern zoos. This method uses the reward system instead of punishment, to encourage the animal to adapt his behaviour. Another solution consists of using trained elephants (called Kumkis in India) to hunt, capture and train wild ones. This is particularly common in India.

Cats, dogs, bears and pachyderms are being mistreated on the Asian continent. No human can be immune to this hell imposed on them, which is why this tragic reality must urge the general public and governments to act to protect this wildlife. There are too many organisations that exploit this situation and often get rich without even telling the tourists. This is why at Animal Sanctuary Laos, we are constantly increasing our efforts to rescue and save endangered species. However, none of this would be possible without your support. So please give us the necessary strength to continue and carry out our precious mission.