Humane Society International/Korea urges swift legislation to ‘close this miserable chapter in Korea’s history and embrace a dog friendly future’

Humane Society International / South Korea


SEOUL—In an historic announcement, the South Korean government has stated that before the end of this year it will introduce a bill to ban the dog meat industry, which sees up to 1 million dogs a year farmed and killed for human consumption. At a meeting in Seoul today between the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, representatives of the ruling Peoples Power Party and Korean animal groups including Humane Society International/Korea, a government bill was confirmed with a three-year phase out period once legislation is passed, meaning the ban would come into effect in 2027.

Compensation will be offered to help legally registered dog meat farmers, traders, slaughterers and restaurant owners transition or close their businesses, similar to the Models for Change program run by HSI/Korea, which has worked with 18 dog farmers across the country since 2015 to switch to growing chili plants or parsley delivering water and other livelihoods.

This news follows considerable public and political momentum for a ban, including the introduction of five legislative bills by National Assembly Members. The news is welcomed by HSI/Korea, one of the leading animal groups campaigning for an end to dog meat nationwide.

JungAh Chae, executive director of Humane Society International/Korea, who attended the meeting with MAFRA, says: “News that the South Korean government is at last poised to ban the dog meat industry is like a dream come true for all of us who have campaigned so hard to end this cruelty. Korean society has reached a tipping point where most people now reject eating dogs and want to see this suffering consigned to the history books. With so many dogs needlessly suffering for a meat that hardly anyone eats, the government’s bill delivers a bold plan that must now urgently be passed by the Assembly so that a legislative ban can be agreed as soon as possible to help South Korea close this miserable chapter in our history and embrace a dog friendly future.”

With growing concern for animal welfare, and over 6 million pet dogs now living in Korean homes, demand for dog meat has dwindled. Latest opinion polls by Nielsen Korea commissioned by HSI/Korea show that 86% of South Koreans won’t eat dog meat in the future and 57% support a ban.

HSI recognizes that a short phase out period is an inevitable consequence of dismantling the trade and helping farmers and traders transition to other livelihoods. However, HSI urges the government to use the phase out period to work with animal welfare groups like HSI/Korea to rescue as many dogs as possible in a state-sponsored, co-ordinated effort.

HSI/Korea’s Models for Change program has rescued more than 2,700 dogs from dog farms across South Korea who have found adoptive homes in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with a small number rehomed in South Korea. Most of the farmers with whom HSI/Korea has worked experience mounting societal, family and financial pressure to get out of farming dogs.

Kitty Block and Jeff Flocken, respectively CEO and president of HSI globally, issue a joint statement, saying: “This is a momentous day for HSI’s campaign to end the horrors of the dog meat industry in South Korea, and one we have been hoping to see for a very long time. Having been to dog meat farms and seen HSI/Korea’s Models for Change program in action, we know only too well the suffering and deprivation these desperate animals endure in the name of an industry for whom history has now thankfully called time. This is the beginning of the end of dog meat farming in South Korea, and HSI stands ready to contribute our expertise until every cage is empty.”

Dog meat facts:

  • Although most people in South Korea don’t eat dog, the belief that dog meat soup (bosintang) will cool the body and build stamina during the hot summer, particularly during Bok Nal season spanning July and August, still holds with some, especially the older generation.
  • Most dogs slaughtered for meat in South Korea are killed by electrocution although some are also hanged.
  • Dog meat is banned (with varying degrees of enforcement) in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, India, Thailand and Singapore, as well as the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai in mainland China, Siem Reap province in Cambodia, and 32 cities and regencies as well as the province of DKI Jakarta in Indonesia.
  • Despite these growing bans, an estimated 30 million dogs a year are still killed for meat across Asia.

Download here video and photos of HSI/Korea’s dog meat farm closure program in action


Media contact:

Humane Society International / Europe


BRUSSELS—A year after the publication of the Revised Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, representatives from Member States, the European Commission, the European Parliament and civil society gathered in Brussels to discuss the implementation of the Action Plan and solutions to end illegal wildlife trade. The event was co-organised by Eurogroup for Animals, Animal Advocacy and Protection, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society International and Pro Wildlife.

Wildlife trafficking is one of the largest international criminal activities. It contributes significantly to biodiversity loss, increases the risk of zoonotic diseases and has negative socio-economic impacts, particularly in countries where animals and wildlife products are sourced. 

The EU is a hub for wildlife trafficking and therefore has a crucial role to play. The revised EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, published in 2022, provides improvements compared to the previous Action Plan and foresees ambitious actions to tackle the issue. Our conference, marking the first year of the release of the revised Action Plan, was opened by a video message from Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, who highlighted the role of illegal trafficking in loss of biodiversity and undermining peace and security,  followed by a message from César Luena MEP (Socialists and Democrats), who stressed that the success of the Action Plan depends on dedicated implementation by all actors.

The first panel discussed care for confiscated live animals. Representatives from rescue facilities across Europe emphasised the difficulties they are facing to accommodate seized animals and called for increased capacities and resources to offer proper care. Maria Pita Fernandez from the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenges detailed the actions taken by the country in this regard, especially to facilitate information-sharing and coordination. IFAW presented a new Online Learning Program for enforcement authorities on handling confiscated live animals. The panel stressed the challenges in setting adequate conditions for a wide range of species and called for dedicated funding for rescue centres in national Action Plans without impeding activities to address the root causes of wildlife trafficking. 

Participants then heard the experiences of Member States regarding the implementation of the EU Action Plan and innovative solutions at the national level. Representatives from Spain and Czechia presented their plans to fight illegal wildlife trafficking, while Lithuania, the Netherlands, Cyprus and Belgium detailed their experience in implementing innovative measures such as the positive list of allowed pets, emphasising the importance for such lists to protect animal welfare, public health and biodiversity. This is relevant in the context of the upcoming study from the European Commission on the added value and feasibility of an EU Positive List for Pets. Panellists highlighted the added value of an EU positive list to better regulate intra-EU trade and the need to retain national lists that would be stricter than the EU list.

The third panel focused on enforcement challenges and consisted of French and Spanish law enforcement authorities, the representative of the German online platform DeineTierwelt, IFAW and the European Commission. The panellists discussed the state of play and opportunities to properly enforce the legislation in place to combat wildlife trafficking. They emphasised the need for ambitious and harmonised rules to regulate wildlife trade online. Training and awareness raising of enforcement officers on environmental crime, including cybercrime, is crucial to enforce these rules. Financial crimes closely linked to wildlife criminal activities can also facilitate prosecution and must be carefully considered by enforcement authorities.

The final panel exchanged on the loopholes in the current EU legislation which enable species that are illegally caught and smuggled in their origin countries to legally enter the EU market. The example of the Macedonian Grayling, an endangered nationally protected butterfly sold online across the EU was presented. Experts and enforcement authorities described the problem while lawyers and civil society proposed solutions, including a model legislation for the EU, in view of the upcoming Commission’s feasibility study on this issue. Panellists underlined that such legislation could complement an EU Positive List and is an important opportunity for the EU to protect biodiversity worldwide.

The event was closed by MEP Martin Hojsík (Renew) on a hopeful note, calling for the timely and proper implementation of this ambitious Action Plan, increased capacity to seriously tackle illegal wildlife trade and the need for new legislative tools at EU level including the positive list and the criminalisation of illegally sourced wildlife trade in the EU.

Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International/Europe, says: “Yesterday’s event has illustrated just how vital it is that the EU closes the loopholes in the current EU wildlife trade regulations. By failing to criminalise the import of nationally protected wildlife species that have been taken in violation of the laws of other countries and allowing this stolen wildlife to be traded legally in Member States, the EU continues to be complicit in the loss of biodiversity elsewhere in the world. This cannot and must not continue.


Media contact: Cassie Bodin-Duval, international coordinator for media relations: ; +32 (0) 469 149 469

Experts convene to explore group housing over extreme confinement of mother pigs in Southeast Asia

Humane Society International / Southeast Asia


HANOI, Viet Nam—Leading international experts on pig farming, behavior and animal welfare will gather online on Nov. 22 and 29 for the “Group Housing of Sows—The Future of Pig Production in Viet Nam and Globally” webinar series. It will give food companies, pig farmers, financial institutions, government officials and academic institutions a unique opportunity for a deep dive into case studies, data and best practices showcasing group housing as the more compassionate choice instead of extreme confinement of mother pigs.

Southeast Asia is one of the largest pig farming regions in the world, accounting for nearly 5 million sows living on farms in 2021.

There is growing demand from food corporations and financial institutions for higher animal welfare production systems. Group-housing, a higher animal welfare system than confining gestating sows, is internationally and scientifically recognized as the better system for sow welfare, and as pig farmers upgrade outdated equipment, now is the time to embrace the coming market changes.

These two Zoom webinars will be conducted at 20:00-21:30 on Nov. 22 and 29, 2023 (Hanoi, Bangkok time, GMT+7) with presentations in English and live translation to Vietnamese. People who work in or with the food industry or pig farming are welcome to register for the event here.

Jackie Groberski, manager of corporate and financial institution engagement at Humane Society International, says: “Improving animal welfare is an advantageous business decision that aligns with global sustainability efforts. It’s essential that companies, financial institutions and other interest holders understand that group housing for breeding pigs is the future.”

Humane Society International’s work to improve the welfare of animals in agriculture is science-based and collaborative. The organization works with companies, farmers, processors, financial institutions, scientists and certifiers to support a transition to cage-free housing systems, and offers a wide range of support to companies including farm visits, consumer education and corporate roundtables and workshops to enhance their supply chains.


Media contact: Hang Le, Southeast Asia regional farm animal welfare program manager,

Rena Bakery is going cage-free in 2023

Humane Society International / Southeast Asia


BANGKOK, Thailand—Rena Bakery, a family-owned bakery establishment, committed to switching to cage-free eggs following a constructive dialogue with Humane Society International

The 30-year-old establishment stands firmly behind its decision to transition to cage-free eggs, viewing it as a testament to its unwavering dedication to the use of top-quality ingredients.

“After we learned more about how caged hens live, we decided that we needed to do something to help. We see this as a step forward to improve our operational standard for our customers. We love what we do and wish to improve when we can. We are committing to use 100% cage-free eggs in our store from now on,” said Mr. Chatchai Komintr, CEO of Rena Bakery and the second generation of leadership in the family business.

“Most Thai people remain unaware that the majority of eggs come from hens enduring a lifetime in wire cages so small they can’t spread their wings, nor do they know that most hens will never walk on grass or set foot on solid ground. Hens are sentient, intelligent and sociable animals. Scientific studies have shown that they can count, anticipate the future, empathize with their chicks, and enjoy social activities. We’re proud to work with a corporation that considers animal welfare a priority and acknowledges that the future of eggs is cage-free,” said Lalada Tangjerdjaras, Thailand program manager for Farm Animal Welfare for Humane Society International.

Humane Society International’s work to improve the welfare of animals in agriculture is both science-based and collaborative. The organization works with companies, farmers, processors, scientists and certifiers to support a transition to cage-free housing systems, and offers a wide range of support to companies including farm visits, consumer education and corporate roundtables and workshops to enhance their supply chains.


Media contact: Lalada Tangjerdjaras, Thailand program manager for farm animal welfare and protection at Humane Society International,

The course, led by HSI/Mexico, aims to empower and educate first responders and other authorities on animal welfare in cases of cruelty and disaster

Humane Society International / Mexico


TEPIC, Nayarit—This week, Humane Society International/Mexico conducted a training aimed at strengthening Nayarit’s response to animal cruelty and disaster situations. The event brought together 75 participants from a diverse group, including personnel from 911 emergency services, public prosecutors, municipal and state police, civil protection and firefighters and members of the Nayarit State Commission for the Protection of Fauna.

The comprehensive training covered a spectrum of crucial topics, including receiving reports of animal abuse and how to triage, assessing animal welfare based on the scientific model of the five domains, combatting dogfighting and including pets in disaster prevention plans.

“We want to take this opportunity to extend our congratulations to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Nayarit for the recent establishment of the Specialized Public Prosecutor’s Office for Domestic Animal Abuse Crimes,” said Claudia Edwards, program manager at Humane Society International/Mexico. “We’re grateful to see the prosecutor’s office prioritizing the safety and welfare of animals.”

A small evacuation drill was also carried out by the attendees with the guidance of civil protection and state firefighters.


Owner Mr Hung works with Humane Society International as part of charity’s Models for Change program to exit the trade and start new business

Humane Society International

Chau Doan | AP Images for HSI

Forty-four dogs, including 19 puppies just days old, have been rescued from a dog meat fattening facility and slaughterhouse in Thai Nguyen, Viet Nam, after the owner had a change of heart and shut his shop for good. Mr Hung had bought, sold and slaughtered up to 20,000 dogs for the meat trade over the past seven years, but said that killing the animals weighed heavily on his conscience and he was relieved when animal charity Humane Society International offered him a way out as part of its Models for Change program. Mr Hung plans to open an agricultural store for local community crop farming. 

HSI’s rescue team assembled from Viet Nam, Indonesia and India to remove the 44 dogs from Mr Hung’s facility and transport them to custom-made sheltering at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry where they were vaccinated against rabies and will receive medical care and rehabilitation before being made available for local adoption. 

Most of the estimated five million dogs killed for meat annually in Viet Nam are stolen pets or strays snatched from the streets using poison bait, painful taser guns, pincers or ropes, or imported from surrounding countries such as Cambodia. However, the majority of Mr Hung’s dogs were sold to him by rural families who breed extra puppies at home to supplement their main income.  

Traders typically go village to village by motorbike or truck to collect puppies from rural communities. The young dogs are tightly packed into small cages and driven for hours to facilities such as Mr Hung’s for fattening up, many enduring dehydration, suffocation, heatstroke and even death on the journey.   

Prior to the closure with HSI, traders delivered around 50 puppies every one or two months to Mr Hung’s facility, where they were kept in filthy raised cages without veterinary care and fattened up for several weeks or months to reach a suitable slaughter weight to be sold as tht chó (dog meat).   

HSI’s research in other parts of Viet Nam uncovered the cruel practice of force-feeding dogs at some fattening facilities by forcing a tube down their throats and pouring rice directly into their stomachs. While Mr Hung claims never to have conducted force feeding, he is aware of the practice. As well as selling the dogs to local slaughterhouses and restaurants, Mr Hung also killed one or two dogs every day with a knife to the jugular or heart, in full view of other dogs. It was a cycle of suffering and brutality that Mr Hung said finally broke his heart.  

Mr Hung told HSI’s Viet Nam team: “I looked into their pleading eyes and saw their tails nervously wagging as I approached, and each time it got harder to do. They came to me as happy little puppies so full of life, but soon became traumatized and afraid. It just broke my heart in the end. Dogs are so loyal and friendly, selling or killing them felt like a betrayal that weighed heavily on my conscience. When I heard that HSI’s Models for Change program had helped another trader in Thai Nguyen close his dog meat slaughterhouse and restaurant last year, I was relieved to know there was a way for me to start my life over without having to kill animals for a living. I’m excited for my new business and to know that all my dogs will have the happy life they deserve with families who will look after them.”

As well as tackling the extreme animal cruelty inherent in the trade of dogs for human consumption, HSI’s program also helps crack down on the spread of the deadly rabies virus across Viet Nam. Rabies kills more than 70 people in Viet Nam each year, according to the World Health Organization, with most cases caused by dog bites and verified cases linked to dog slaughter and consumption. A high incidence of rabies-positive dogs has been documented in slaughterhouses in the capital city, Hanoi. Whether trafficked from neighboring countries, caught and driven hundreds of miles across Viet Nam or sold for slaughter by local households, the dog meat trade involves the mass movement and slaughter of dogs of unknown disease or vaccination status and as such jeopardizes efforts by officials to control the spread of the rabies.  

Phuong Tham, Humane Society International’s Viet Nam country director, said: “The dog meat trade is a cruel and dangerous business in Viet Nam, jeopardizing the health of the nation for profit, in breach of existing laws. Mr Hung is the second trader in Viet Nam to participate in our Models for Change program, which we hope will encourage the authorities to commit to a strategy to provide industry workers with alternative and economically viable livelihoods, while also supporting government efforts to eliminate rabies. While dog meat remains prevalent in some parts of the country, there is also increasing opposition to the practice among the rising pet loving population in Viet Nam who are frustrated by the lack of action taken against unscrupulous dog thieves and traders who steal people’s beloved companions. As the role dogs play in society changes, so too must legislation to protect them from cruelty and exploitation.” 

HSI’s Models for Change program began in Viet Nam last year after successfully operating in South Korea since 2015 where the charity has closed down 18 dog meat farms and helped build public and political support for a nationwide ban. HSI brought its Models for Change program to Viet Nam last year with the closure of a dog slaughterhouse and restaurant owned by a neighbor of Mr Hung. The closure inspired Mr Hung to contact the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry for help rehoming his dogs, which in turn asked HSI to provide expertise and resources to support the rescue and train local veterinarians for the long-term success of the rescue center.   

Dog meat facts: 

  • Viet Nam is home to the most prolific dog and cat meat trades in Southeast Asia, slaughtering an estimated five million dogs and one million cats each year. A belief by some consumers persists—despite no scientific evidence—that dog meat has medicinal properties and can increase male virility.   
  • HSI research suggests that dog meat is eaten by around 40% of the population but is not an expensive delicacy, costing from 150,000 – 200,000 VND ($6 – $8) per dish in Thai Nguyen. 
  • While the sale and consumption of dog meat is not illegal in Viet Nam, both the unregulated trans-provincial movement of dogs and pet theft are punishable offences. Officials in several cities including Hanoi and Hoi An have pledged to end the trade, but law enforcement is rare. 
  • Pet theft and the arrest of pet thieves is frequently reported in the Vietnamese media, and devastated pet owners often buy back their beloved companions if they are fortunate enough to locate them after capture. 
  • The link between rabies transmission and Viet Nam’s dog meat trade has been clearly identified by the WHOi. Data from Viet Nam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology shows that a significant proportion of patients become infected with the virus after killing, butchering or eating dogs, as well as from bites. In 2018 and 2019, the authorities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City respectively urged citizens not to consume dog meat to reduce their risk of disease transmission.  
  • Studies of brain samples of dogs collected from slaughterhouses in northern and southern provinces have also tested positive for the rabies virus.  
  • In July 2023, the People’s Committee of Dong Nai Province and HSI in Viet Nam signed a first-of-its-kind three-year agreement to work together to tackle the dog and cat meat trades by implementing a rabies vaccination program, discouraging dog and cat meat consumption through public awareness campaigns, supporting law enforcement’s anti-dog and cat trafficking activities, promoting companion animal welfare and helping dog and cat meat industry workers transition to alternative livelihoods.  

Download photos/video of the dog slaughterhouse closure operation


Black howler and spider monkeys, margay wild cat, emerald toucanet, opossums and owls among iconic species returned to the wild

Humane Society International / Latin America

Santiago Billy/AP Images for HSI

PETEN, Guatemala—Twenty-seven mammals and birds have been released back into the wild of the Guatemalan rainforest after being rescued and rehabilitated from illegal trafficking and cruelty incidents.

Non-governmental organizations Asociacion Rescate y Conservacion de Vida Silvestre, known locally as ARCAS, and Humane Society International/Latin America released the animals in the 13.3 million-acre Maya Biosphere Reserve in Petén, as part of a long-running joint project to tackle wildlife trafficking for the pet trade and other exploitative human activities. The animals include an endangered wild cat―a margay―three endangered black howler monkeys, two endangered spider monkeys and several birds including an emerald toucanet.

Many of the animals, including a tayra and a screech owl, arrived at the ARCAS sanctuary as juveniles, their mother having likely been killed by traffickers or hunters. The rehabilitation process included teaching them the skills they need to survive in the wild such as how to fly, jump, run, hide from predators, and identify and hunt for food. While the margay, howler and spider monkeys are classified as Category 2: Endangered in Guatemala under national protection legislation, other species―such as the opossum and bat falcon―are impacted by habitat loss due to deforestation for farming and by negative interactions with humans.

Imperilled species are highly valued in the wildlife trade because of their rarity, leading to overexploitation and black-market trade, pushing some of these species further toward risk of extinction. The rehabilitation of these animals is essential to strengthen the populations of endemic and endangered species in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, which have been considerably depleted in their natural habitats. For example, three black howler monkeys were among those released by ARCAS and HSI/LA, the oldest male having been kept as a pet for four months prior to rescue, while the females were rescued from the pet trade without having suffered prolonged captivity.

Andrea Borel, executive director of Humane Society International/Latin America was present for the rainforest release and said: “The capture of wild animals for the national and international pet trade is a real problem in Guatemala. These animals are often kept in cramped, inadequate conditions not suitable for their species, and denied the ability to exhibit their natural behaviors which can further cause them physical and psychological distress. For every wild animal kept as a pet, it’s also likely that several others will have died including their mother who is often killed while trying to protect her babies from traffickers. As many of these species also contend with the ever-increasing pressure of habitat loss, it’s a real concern for our wild ecosystems.

By supporting and working with our local partner, ARCAS, this rescue, rehabilitation and release program is giving these animals back their freedom as well as increasing their wild populations to ensure future breeding in their natural forest habitat where they belong. We also work together on awareness raising to urge citizens not to buy wild animals as pets and to help us by reporting any such suspicious activity to the authorities.”

ARCAS carries out the physical, medical and behavioral rehabilitation of victims of wildlife trafficking and exploitative human activities, under strict scientific management standards. HSI/Latin America and ARCAS have been working together in wildlife protection and conservation in Guatemala since 2004. The release was conducted with the authorization of Guatemalan authorities from the National Council for Protected Areas, or CONAP. The Maya Biosphere Reserve is in the northern Petén region of Guatemala, part of the Mesoamerica’s Maya Forest, the second largest remaining tropical rainforest in the Americas.

ARCAS director Fernando Martinez said: “Our mission is to reinforce existing wildlife populations, to prevent the extinction of species and thus ensure that there are healthy populations capable of adapting and reproducing in their natural habitat. We are proud that our rescue center is a pioneer in endemic species rehabilitation and release in our region, and we appreciate HSI/Latin America’s support.”


Media contact: Wendy Higgins, HSI’s director of international media:

Humane Society International / Latin America

Veterinary care for cats at criminal detention center in Chile. Claudio Ramírez for HSI. 

SANTIAGO, Chile―Almost 100 cats living in Chile’s largest and oldest prison facility have received veterinary care for the first time thanks to a joint program by Humane Society International and local Chilean charity Felinnos Foundation. The cats living with the estimated 4,482 inmates at the Santiago Sur Criminal Detention Center were spayed and neutered, vaccinated and treated for wounds and parasite infections.

Cats were originally introduced at the penitentiary―known locally as the CDP―to control the rodent population. However, with no sterilization services, the cat population has grown uncontrollably in living conditions that are extremely challenging for both prisoners and animals. The largely cement paved outdoor spaces do not provide the cats with adequate environments to relieve themselves, generating a hygiene problem, and as inmates are not permitted to bring cat food into the prison, the animals live on leftover human food. The lack of food for the cats poses health issues for the cats along with the risk that some inmates who care for several cats go without adequate food themselves.

The most critical issue, however, is that the cats do not receive any veterinary care, resulting in untreated wounds, disease and high kitten mortality. Some inmates attempt to treat the cats as best that they can, often using home remedies with the limited resources available. Despite the challenging circumstances, many inmates have a strong and loving bond with  the cats they care for, and a genuine desire to improve the quality of life for these animals.

The groups carried out the prison cat program over three days in cooperation with the Chilean Gendarmerie. Around 30 cats per day were collected from the prison, given medical care for any conditions, spayed/neutered, vaccinated against rabies, kept overnight to recover, and then returned to their inmate guardians or to the penitentiary location where they were found. Cat food was also provided to the inmates so that the cats receive proper nutrition.

Dr. Katherine Polak, Humane Society International’s vice president of companion animals and engagement, says: “Prison cat programs help both pets and people, having a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of prisoners, cats, administrators and society at large. Spaying and neutering helps stabilize the cat population and prevents excess kittens from being born. Providing medical care helps ensure cats are kept healthy, live longer and the potential for zoonotic disease transmission is minimized. Ultimately the cats help people too, by lowering inmate stress levels, providing companionship and fostering opportunities for inmates to express nurturing behaviors and responsibility. There is even evidence to suggest that inmates who interact with cats while in prison are less likely to reoffend.”

Marcela Diaz, Humane Society International’s manager for companion animals and engagement in Chile, says: “This comprehensive prison cat program at the Santiago Sur Criminal Detention Center is unique in Chile, working with all stakeholders to foster an appreciation of and participation in humane animal care and population management. It’s also a great example of collaboration between private and non-government organizations to improve the living conditions, health and well-being of cats residing in the CDP. In recent years, the number of inmates requesting medical care and food for the cats has increased, highlighting the importance of preserving the human-animal bond.”


Media contact:

  • Wendy Higgins, HSI director of international media,
  • Marcela Diaz, HSI companion animal program manager in Chile,; +56 9 81569726

British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force chef instructors honed their plant-based culinary skills in Humane Society International/UK’s Forward Food training

Humane Society International / United Kingdom

Jessica Webb/HSI

LONDONMilitary chef instructors from across the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Service have been learning how to create plant-based, flavour-filled, planet-friendly dishes thanks to the latest vegan culinary training workshop held by animal protection organisation Humane Society International/UK.

In this the second Forward Food training by HSI/UK for the UK Defence Food Services Training Wing at Worthy Down, Winchester, chef instructors took part in a masterclass on creating plant-based canapés, having previously received training in designing nutritious vegan main courses and how to market those menu items. The session also covered the fundamentals of making appetising and flavoursome plant-based dishes, which typically have a lower environmental footprint than meat and dairy options.

The day’s cooking sessions were mentored by HSI/UK’s Forward Food chef and renowned food writer Jenny Chandler, who ran interactive demonstrations on depth of flavour and food texture. Ministry of Defence chef instructors then took to the kitchen to put what they’d learnt into practice and whipped up creative vegan canapés including: devilled potatoes; carrot “salmon” lox; smoky squash and black bean fritters; mini roast cauliflower and cashew cheela pancakes served with mango chutney; and cucumber cups with a spiced peanut dip and crispy chickpeas.

Rich Hardy, senior farmed animal campaigns manager at Humane Society International/UK, said: “It’s really encouraging to be working with the Armed Forces, responsible for serving millions of meals every week to tri-service personnel, and that they are willing to equip chefs with the skills to meet the rising demand for plant-based options. This is the second Forward Food training HSI/UK has delivered for the UK Defence Food Services Training Wing, and the chef instructors here have now truly mastered the art of creating exciting and flavourful vegan dishes! Putting more plants on plates helps reduce demand for factory farming, which is vital both in the race to meet climate targets, and to stop the suffering of millions of animals.”

Warrant Officer Class 2 Kerry Bale, Catering Development Warrant Officer at the UK Defence Food Services Training Wing, said: “Diets of choice are growing in popularity; with an increasing demand towards nutritious plant-based foods, the chef instructors must enhance their skills in order to present the offer to service personnel. The training we have received was excellent and plays an important role in helping us to remain current.” 

More than 300 chefs have been trained through HSI’s Forward Food programme in the UK since its launch in 2017. By supporting chefs and catering managers to gain skills and confidence in delivering a variety of high-quality plant-based menu items, HSI/UK is improving the availability of vegan options across the country and helping people make compassionate culinary choices.


Media contact: Sally Ivens, senior media and communications manager, HSI/UK:     

Forward Food is an initiative of Humane Society International, with the aim to encourage and enable the catering industry to shift the focus of menus away from meals centred on animal products and put more plant-based food on plates. Find out more at 

Humane Society International / Mexico

Osvaldo Olguin/HSI

MEXICO CITY—Humane Society International/ Mexico is pleased to announce its participation in the traditional Dia de Muertos Ofrendas at Casa Fuerte del Indio Fernández in Coyoacán. This year’s beautiful and heartfelt ofrenda will be dedicated to all animals, with a special remembrance for those who departed and who have left their mark, including beloved animals like Benito (Scooby), Maple who inspired a law, Stich, Frida the beloved search and rescue dog, and all the animals we work for in the different HSI programs.

Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a cherished Mexican tradition that celebrates and honors the lives of loved ones who have passed. HSI/Mexico recognizes the importance of extending this tradition to include the remembrance of animals, who are often cherished members of our families and communities.

The traditional ofrendas take place every year at the museum and cultural house “Casa Fuerte del Indio Fernández”. This iconic house belonging to the famous Mexican gold film actor Emilio “El Indio Fernandez” who also posed for the renowned Oscar statuette.  This year the visitors will be able to pay their respects, reflect on the important role animals play in our lives, and learn about HSI/Mexico’s dedication to animal welfare. This ofrenda dedicated to them is displayed in one of the stables whose centerpiece is a beautiful mural by Diego Rivera.

In addition to this meaningful tribute, the ofrenda will feature a special culinary aspect. The dishes served will be plant-based, highlighting HSI/Mexico’s commitment to promoting a more compassionate and sustainable approach to food. This aligns with our belief that all animals, including farm animals, deserve to live free from suffering.

“On these dates we remember our loved ones and with this Ofrenda we have the opportunity to remember the animals who have shared their lives with us. It is a time to raise awareness about those who were not fortunate enough to be part of a loving family but who deserve the same love and the same respect. Let’s raise our voices for those who don’t experience compassion, and for those who never had the opportunity to live free,” said Pamela Resendiz, HSI/Mexico food and nutrition manager.

The Dia de Muertos ofrenda at Casa Fuerte del Indio Fernández will provide a space for people to come together, remember their animal companions, and consider the positive impact they can make for animals in need. HSI/Mexico invites everyone to join us in celebrating the lives of animals and to explore the meaningful work we do to protect and advocate for them, you can visit it from Oct 20th to Nov 20th at Ignacio Zaragoza 51, Santa Catarina, Coyoacán, Mexico City.


Media contact: Magaly Garibay and Laura Bravo

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