Across Asia, there are about 30 million dogs slaughtered for human consumption. However, there are a few other countries in the world that eat canines, whether for cultural or medicinal purposes. What countries eat dogs? Here are places around the world where you can have dog meat as a delicacy.
China ranks number one when it comes to the number of dogs killed and eaten annually, at an average of 10 to 20 million. Vietnam is not far behind at 5 million a year. Laos is another country that considers dogs as food, among other ones on our list.
Discover more about these places where dog meat is sold and served legally or not explicitly illegally.
17. South Korea
A typical South Korean restaurant offers dog meat on the menu. In fact, there are more than 20,000 restaurants in the country where people can order dog meat freely. There are dog meat farms across the countryside, and over 2 million canines are eaten per year.
In South Korea, there are also dog meat-eating festivals held per year. This accounts for 15,000 or so pups consumed, along with the increase in dog consumption during summer with the assumption that it keeps the body cool.
In Taiwan, dog meat is regarded as fragrant meat. During the winter, black dogs are preferred specifically for food as these are thought to retain warmth in the body. There are also more than a hundred restaurants across the island that offer dog meat.
In 1988, there was a law passed by the parliament that banned consumption within the island. However, this ban was not strictly enforced, which is why the dog meat industry continues to flourish.
One of the African countries known for dog meat consumption is Nigeria. It is believed by certain tribes in the Southern portion of the country that dogs offer medicinal powers, such as a malaria cure or to boost libido.
It is also believed that dog meat is a good “juju” or weapon against evil spirits. This is why for some people in the country, dog meat is considered the best animal meat.
14. The Arctic
With the Arctic’s harsh weather conditions, dogs are often used for navigation and transportation. But in some Arctic countries such as Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia, people consume dogs as survival food.
It is also common that the weakest dogs are killed and eaten, especially when there is an insufficient food supply during the coldest weather. But typically, sled dogs are considered food by some people in the Arctic.
There is a vast majority of Indonesians that eat dogs, especially among the Minahasa or tribal community in this part of the world. The same holds true among the Toraja, another ethnic group that kills dogs to turn them into saksang or dog meat stew.
In Bali, there is growing popularity of the black market known for selling stolen dogs. There are dog catchers on the prowl to steal up to 10 dogs nightly and make a couple of dollars per canine from dog meat factories.
Some parts of Mexico, such as Tijuana, are known for selling dog meat at their restaurants. There are also private homes used as dog slaughterhouses illegally. It is also common for some taco stands to sell dog meat to unsuspecting patrons.
Strangely enough, dogs were highly regarded symbols in Aztec mythology. But the irony is that Aztecs raise dogs for food, despite their belief that these animals serve their owners even in the afterlife by helping them reach the place of the dead known as Mictlan.
Although it is not common in Australia to find dog meat on the menu, the practice of eating canine meat is not explicitly banned or illegal. This is why there are still some places in the country where one can have dog meat as a delicacy.
On the other hand, South Australia prohibits the slaughter and eating of dogs, as well as cats. They have well-defined laws to stop the dog meat industry and are imposed strictly.
Thailand is another Southeast Asian country where the dog meat industry flourishes. In particular, the Ta Rae town along the Mekong River is a popular hub for the illegal smuggling and trafficking of dogs.
But dogs are not only killed for food. In Sakon Nakhon, canines are killed for their skin. They use dog skin to make drums and golf gloves, as well as to make linings for shoes.
It is not typical practice in Switzerland to slaughter and consume dogs as food. However, there is a small percentage of people in the country that is secretly engaged in eating dogs, especially during Christmas.
Commercial dog slaughterhouses are also not found in the country. Yet, there are farmers that kill dogs themselves and preserve the meat like sausages and use them for medicinal purposes.
In Canada, people can legally sell and buy dog meat at restaurants. However, operators of dog slaughterhouses in the country need a license to be able to perform their business. Those who run this kind of business are not allowed to keep dogs as food.
Additionally, those who run slaughterhouses must kill the animal in the presence of federal inspectors to make sure that the process is hygienically implemented. Yet, there are unregulated and illegal dog slaughterhouses in certain parts of the country.
7. Northern Ghana
The Tallensi tribe situated in Northern Ghana consumes the meat of dogs as a delicacy. It is why this practice is common among these people and is not regarded as illegal or taboo.
There is also a belief that two tribes – the Dagaaba and Frafra – eat dog meat to further strengthen the bond with each other. These tribes engage in common games, and the winner receives a dog’s head.
Dogs were once regarded as temple guardians and the most preferred pets of royalties. However, this is no longer a strong belief among the Burmese people, and the dog meat industry is flourishing in the country.
In Pa-late, a town close to Mandalay, there are several warehouses that hold dogs captive before being taken to slaughterhouses. Each dog is priced at $15 to $20.
Polynesian history has always considered dog meat as a delicacy and served during religious festivals. However, only men were allowed to eat dog meat as it is forbidden to women. But traditionally, dog meat was only served to the gods or the royalty.
Although English and French missionaries tried to stop this practice, the Polynesians did not give it up. While it is illegal to eat canines at present, there are still many underground dog trade industries, and dog meat consumption continues.
4. The Philippines
It is not uncommon among some people in the Philippines to eat dog meat. In fact, about half a million canines are slaughtered each year for food. Dogs are the third most slaughtered animals for food next to pork and goat.
Baguio, a city in northern Luzon, is known as the center of the dog meat trade. Canines are killed to make a specific dish called Azucena.
Sadly, the country ranks 25th among the hungriest countries on the planet. It also serves as a canine trafficking hub between Vietnam and Thailand, where thousands of stray and stolen dogs are smuggled right across the Mekong River and into Vietnam.
There are no strict rules enforced that prevent people from killing and eating dog meat. Hence, the industry prevails throughout the country.
In old Vietnamese tradition, dogs were revered for their strength and energy. However, canines are now regarded as food, and it is not uncommon to hear of dogs being stolen by dog catchers to earn themselves a few bucks from dog meat factories.
Son Dong is the hub of the dog meat industry in Vietnam. Thousands of dogs are taken to this province each day after a torturous journey, and they are stuffed in cages before being taken to slaughterhouses.
Ironically, the Chinese were some of the first people on the planet to domesticate dogs as pets. However, the country ranks number one in the dog meat industry, where about 10 to 20 million canines are slaughtered and eaten each year.
Dog meat has been assumed as a cure for impotence and other medical conditions by the Chinese. They also use dog skin for various products in the fashion industry.
What Is The Taste Of Dog Meat? Dog meat is fatty and chewy and has a strong taste, just like venison or squab but without the succulent quality. It is also a bit close to the texture of beef.
What Breed Of Dog Is Eaten The Most? There is no specific breed known worldwide to be eaten commonly by humans. Yet, in South Korea, the Hwangu or Nureongi are raised and slaughtered for their meat.
Which Tastes Better Cat Or Dog? According to those who have eaten both animals, cats have a sweeter flavor and a more tender meat quality than dogs. It is also why cat meat sells for a higher price, typically about $50 to $70 on average.