Humane Society International / Global

End the slaughter of dogs and cats at Indonesia’s most notorious market

Award-winning photographer Sophie Gamand and HSI/Korea aim to show the dogs’ beauty and resilience one month ahead of the annual Bok Nal dog meat ‘season’

Humane Society International / South Korea

Chewy, dog meat trade survivor
Sophie Gamand/For HSI

SEOUL―Stunning portraits of dogs rescued from South Korea’s dog meat trade will have their Seoul debut  in an exhibition called Beyond Prejudice by award-winning French photographer Sophie Gamand and Humane Society International/Korea.

The 30 dogs featured in the portraits—including Juliette, a golden retriever adopted by “Wheel of Time” actor Daniel Henney―were all once confined in barren cages or chained on dog meat farms in South Korea, but were rescued and adopted overseas thanks to HSI/Korea. Each dog wears an elaborate personalized, handmade collar created by Gamand to symbolize the love and care these dogs now receive as cherished family companions.

This unique exhibition comes to the Seoul Metro Art Centre in Gyeongbokgung Station from May 28 to June 1, which is just over a month before the start of Bok Nal when dog meat consumption typically increases in South Korea, and at a time of considerable political and social momentum for a ban on the dog meat industry. First lady Kim Keon Hee recently reiterated her desire for a dog meat ban, and both the ruling PPP party and the main opposition Democratic Party have expressed their support for legislative reform. Latest polling by Nielsen Korea commissioned by HSI/Korea also show that the vast majority of Koreans (87.5%) have either never eaten dog meat or don’t intend to do so in the future, and a growing majority (56%) support a ban.

HSI/Korea hopes that Gamand’s portraits will help challenge unfounded negative perceptions of “meat dogs” as soulless in the same way that her 2014-2022 photo series Pit Bull Flower Power was instrumental in transforming the public image of pit bulls seeking adoption at U.S. shelters.

Sangkyung Lee, Korea dog meat campaign manager for HSI/Korea, says: “As Korea considers a ban on the dog meat industry, our rescue portraits provide a timely reminder that behind the bars of every cage on these dog meat farms are remarkable dogs every bit as precious as our own canine companions. Sophie Gamand’s portraits celebrate the true beauty of these dogs, all of whom would have been killed for meat had it not been for rescue by HSI/Korea. We hope that by introducing Korean people to dogs like Juliette, Abby, Gregg, Comet and Jayu we can all feel inspired to work together to end the dog meat industry for good.”

It is estimated that up to 1 million dogs a year are intensively bred for human consumption in South Korea. In addition to tosas and Jindo crosses, breeds typically associated with the dog meat trade in Korea, all breeds of dogs can be found on dog meat farms including Labradors, huskies, beagles and spaniels. HSI/Korea invited Gamand to help showcase the resilience, beauty and individuality of these dogs, rebranding them as the true survivors that they are.

Sophie Gamand says: “When I visited a dog meat farm in 2019 with HSI in Korea, I found it a profoundly moving experience. It truly opened my eyes to both the disturbing conditions in which these dogs exist, and the resilience they constantly show despite their suffering. I’m immensely thrilled and proud to be bringing this dog meat trade survivor portrait exhibition to Seoul, particularly at a time where there has been much political momentum towards a dog meat industry ban. I want people to see these dogs for the strong and beautiful beings that they are. I created handmade collars for these survivors because dog collars are a powerful symbol of love, commitment and care which is what these extraordinary dogs deserve.”

This inspiring exhibition also introduces visitors to HSI/Korea’s Models for Change program which works cooperatively with dog meat farmers to help them close their farms and transition to more humane and sustainable livelihoods such as chili plant or parsley growing.

Actor Daniel Henney says: “I’m immensely proud that my dog Juliette is one of the dog meat trade survivors featured in Sophie Gamand’s portrait project for Humane Society International/Korea. My beautiful Juliette started life on a dog meat farm in South Korea, so it’s very special for me to know that her portrait will be part of the exhibition in Seoul. I hope to see a complete end to the dog meat trade in South Korea. I think it’s not a matter of if, but when it will happen.”

The Beyond Prejudice portrait collection will be available for public view free of charge at the Seoul Metro Museum in Gyeongbokgung Station from May 28–June 1, 2023.

Download images of portrait dogs with their corresponding dog farm photos.

Download images of other portrait dogs.


Media contact: Wendy Higgins:

Humane Society International signs agreement with state Biodiversity Institute

Humane Society International / Mexico

Darren Mower/istock

CANCUN, Mexico—Humane Society International, a leading animal welfare organization, signed an agreement with the Biodiversity Institute of Quintana Roo State in Mexico to enhance anti-cruelty training programs and capacity to respond to reports of animal cruelty.

Anton Aguilar, director of HSI/Mexico, said: “This agreement shows that Quintana Roo State authorities are prioritizing the fight against animal cruelty. They continue and expand on a series of programs that we are developing to work with local authorities in Mexico, to create a culture of respect and care towards animals. We thank Secretary of Ecology and Environment Josefina Hernández and Lourdes Souza, director of Biodiversity and Animal Welfare at IBANQROO, for their commitment to animal care.”

Collaboration with the Biodiversity Institute of Quintana Roo will include trainings on animal welfare legislation, animal behavior, response to animal cruelty cases, and preparedness and response to natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, which are frequent in the area. HSI/Mexico also participates in the Animal Welfare Council of Quintana Roo, which is in charge of helping strengthen animal protection policies across the state.


Media contact: Anton Aguilar:

Humane Society International / United Kingdom

Ask the Government to treat animal protection as the priority that British people expect

Humane Society International / Latin America

Cheryl Gerber/AP Images for the HSUS Pamela Alfaro, pictured left, accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International were proud to present Pamela Alfaro, executive director of Red Informativa del Movimiento Animal, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Animal Care Expo for her commitment to helping the animals of Chile.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a recognition given during Animal Care Expo—the largest international educational conference and trade show for animal welfare professionals and volunteers—to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the improvement of animals’ lives through long-term personal and professional commitment and dedication to the field of animal welfare.

Alfaro has been a pioneer in promoting the sterilization of dogs and cats in Chile for over 20 years, developing training for veterinarians in minimally invasive sterilization surgery, running clinics for animals in underserved communities and supporting and advising various government-run programs at the municipal, regional and national levels.

Alfaro said: “I am honored to have been recognized with this prestigious award. I have been fighting for animals since I was 10 years old, and the knowledge and skills I have gained participating in this conference have renewed my motivation and provided ideas and strategies that I am eager to implement upon my return to Chile.”

Jeffrey Flocken, president of Humane Society International, said: “Pamela’s incredible lifelong commitment to helping the animals of Chile is inspiring. In particular, I enjoyed learning about her vision in introducing humane and effective methods of managing cat and dog populations in Chile. Pamela clearly exemplifies the kind of passion and dedication that deserves to be honored with such an award.”

Marcela Diaz, companion animals and engagement program manager for Humane Society International in Chile, said: “Attending Animal Care Expo is a lifechanging event for individuals who dedicate their lives to change the reality for animals across the world. Oftentimes we feel lonely and isolated in this fight, and coming together with individuals from all around the globe renews our strength, our knowledge and our commitment to continue the fight for all animals.”

Animal Care Expo was hosted by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States earlier this month.

Experts from all aspects of animal welfare will come together from across the globe to learn about the latest programs, share best practices, gain inspiration, and build lasting connections.

This year, the conference attracted over 2,500 participants from across the United States, as well as dozens of individuals and organizations from around the world. HSI provided more than 30 sponsorship opportunities for individuals working to advance dog and cat welfare in more than 10 countries on four continents to attend.

Other attendees from Chile include Katrina Justiniano of Fundación Carlos Huerta in Tongoy, Verónica Barrestica of Fundación Felinnos, Paulette Goujon of Fundacion Amigos de los Animales and Andrea Espinoza of the Undersecretary of Regional and Administrative Development.


Media contact: Daniela Sanchez: +56 9 62181089;

Humane Society International


The ‘Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival’ was launched in 2009/2010 by dog meat traders in the city of Yulin, in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China as a commercial venture to boost their dwindling sales. The term “festival” is misleading; in truth there is very little about this week in June that would be recognisable as festivities or celebration. Dogs and cats are killed for meat all year round in Yulin, so the “festival” is really just a week-long escalation of what is an everyday trade in the city.

It takes place every year, starting on June 21 (the summer solstice), during which traders make extra efforts to promote dog meat to local and visiting consumers. Larger than usual volumes of dogs (and other animals) are trafficked into Yulin at this time for slaughter and sale.

Local officials initially endorsed the event, expecting it to attract tourists and boost local development. On the contrary, the festival has been a PR disaster for Yulin, earning national and international condemnation for the annual mass dog slaughter, and the local authorities have disassociated themselves with the event since 2014.

At its height, as many as 10-15,000 dogs were killed for their meat in Yulin during this period, mostly trafficked into the city by trucks sourcing dogs from across China. More recently, as a direct result of national and global pressure, far fewer dogs have been killed during the core days of 20-22 June, now estimated to be around 3,000 -5,000 dogs over these days.

Human health risks of the dog meat trade

The dog meat trade poses a significant risk to human health via the capture, trade, slaughter and processing of dogs and their carcasses. The World Health Organization has warned of the role the dog meat trade plays in facilitating the spread of diseases such as cholera and the deadly rabies virus which kills around 53,000 people across Asia annually, given that it encourages the long distance trafficking of huge numbers of dogs of unknown disease and vaccination status. In China, the dog meat trade breaches rabies control measures, undermining China’s efforts to eliminate this deadly disease. Guangxi province, where Yulin is situated, is amongst China’s five worst affected areas for human rabies, and Yulin was once among China’s 10 worst affected cities for human rabies cases. Dogs shipped to Yulin come from as far as Anhui, Hubei, Henan, Hebei in Central and North China, more than 1,500 miles away.

Making progress in stopping the Yulin dog meat festival

  • In 2010, the Yulin “festival” was launched. Around 15,000 dogs were killed for the festival in scenes that saw participants feasting in the streets. But by 2014, the Yulin authorities realised that endorsing the festival was a bad idea, and they issued an internal warning to all government employees and families not to attend dog meat restaurants. The Yulin authorities distanced themselves from the festival, saying it was a private business event, shut down one live dog market, and closed most dog slaughter operations in the city’s urban center. This led to a drastic reduction in the number of dogs slaughtered that year, however more dogs are still slaughtered during the Summer Solstice day.
  • In 2015 officials ordered all Yulin restaurants to remove tables from outside their premises and, for the second year running, to reduce dog meat dishes. Big public displays of mass dog meat eating were forbidden in recognition that this was likely to lead to conflict. Yulin’s Dong Kou Market had noticeably fewer dog meat stands.
  • In 2016 the Yulin authorities implemented road blocks to prevent trucks loaded with dogs and cats from entering the city. However they did so only a day or so prior to the festival, after most animals had already been offloaded at slaughterhouses in places outside the city center.
  • In 2017 the Yulin authorities announced to dog meat traders that a ban on the sale of dog meat would be imposed that year from June 15th, with heavy fines. However, a few days later the ban was lifted after the dog meat traders threatened civil unrest. A 2017 survey revealed that even in Yulin, home of the notorious dog meat festival, most people (72%) don’t regularly eat dog meat despite efforts by dog meat traders to promote it.
  • In 2018 local campaigners estimated that around 3,000 dogs were killed during the core festival days.
  • In 2020 during the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, catering businesses were evidently restricted and domestic tourism came to a standstill. Chinese activists observed that most of the dog meat stalls and shops previously scattered around the city had been consolidated into one central area called Nanchao market on the outskirts of Yulin. Yulin’s notorious Dongkou market that was once the epicentre of dog meat sales and the slaughter of live dogs, appeared relatively empty by comparison. HSI believes that centralizing dog meat trade activity could be the authorities’ attempt to make it easier to monitor and manage.
  • In March 2020, the city of Shenzhen, followed soon after by Zhuhai, announced that dogs and cats are not food animals and imposed a ban on their sales for food. This legislative decision by two of mainland China’s most modern and progressive cities added pressure for cities that still allow the controversial trade.
  • In April 2020 the Chinese national government (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs) made a public statement explicitly stating that dogs are considered companion animals and not “livestock”, stating: “With the progress of human civilization and the public’s concern and preference for animal protection, dogs have changed from traditional domestic animals to companion animals. Dogs are generally not regarded as livestock and poultry around the world, and China should also not manage them as livestock and poultry.”

These initial steps are commendable, but more proactive and decisive steps are needed to end this cruel trade.

Mydin pledges to only sell eggs that come from higher welfare cage-free systems in all of its 66 locations by 2030

Humane Society International

David Paul Morris

SUBANG JAYA, Selangor—Humane Society International in Malaysia welcomes the country’s first commitment from a hypermarket to end the sale of eggs from caged hens. Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad, known as Mydin, published its commitment to exclusively sell cage-free eggs in all their stores by 2030. HSI has been working with cage-free producers and suppliers in Malaysia to ensure a cage-free egg supply is available and collaborates with companies by supporting the development of a cage-free egg implementation plan in businesses across the country. Mydin began selling cage-free eggs in its stores in March in Selangor and plans to continue to expand sales to its 66 locations.  

The commitment reads, “We will continue to work with our suppliers and customers to achieve our goal of selling 100% cage-free eggs in Mydin supermarkets by 2030.”  

The publication of the commitment follows HSI’s recent event on the cage-free egg movement, in which egg producers, retailers and other companies, veterinarians and government officials convened to discuss Malaysia’s transition towards cage-free egg production. Recent surveys show thatthat the welfare of farmed animals is important to the public andmost consumers prefer to purchase cage-free eggs. In the study, 84% of Malaysians agreethat the welfare of farmed animals is important and as with people in other countries,most prefer to purchase cage-free eggs. 

Humane Society International’s senior adviser of policy and engagement in Malaysia, Dr. Saravanakumar Supramaniam Pillai, stated: “Providing adequate room is a basic tenant of farm animal care and housing. We will be supporting Mydin’s egg suppliers as they embrace more scientifically advanced, socially accepted and higher welfare methods of production. The future is without a doubt cage-free and Mydin is leading the way.”  

Worldwide, most hens kept for egg production are confined to small, wire cages with so little space they cannot even stretch their wings. In contrast to cages, hens raised in a cage-free environment have room to move, to stretch their wings and to exhibit important natural behavior.  

Stefanie Yan, owner of Permagreen Farms, a cage-free producer operating in Nejeri Sembilan and supplying eggs to Mydin, agreed, adding: “Cage-free hens are healthy and productive and we are seeing more interest from companies that want something better than confinement-based production systems. We are proud to supply Mydin and other Malaysian businesses.” 

HSI will continue working alongside businesses, including hypermarkets, in Malaysia to implement their commitments, by connecting businesses and suppliers, providing technical training and workshops for producers, marketing and policy support for companies and assistance in compliance with good practices for animals’ wellbeing. 

HSI’s work to improve the welfare of animals in agriculture is both science-based and collaborative. The organization works with companies, farmers, financial institutions, processors, scientists and certifiers to support a transition to cage-free housing systems and offers a wide range of support.


Media contact: Madeline Bove: 213-248-1548;

Animal protection organizations and cosmetics industry applaud tabling of landmark legislation

Humane Society International / Canada


*Editor’s note: This text has been updated to reflect that the Budget Implementation Act (Bill C-47) has now officially been tabled in Canadian Parliament.

OTTAWA, Ontario—The Canadian government has today tabled measures through the Budget Implementation Act that would prohibit testing cosmetics on animals in Canada. The amendments would also prohibit selling cosmetics that rely on new animal testing data to establish the product’s safety and false or misleading labelling pertaining to the testing of cosmetics on animals.

Animal protection advocates Humane Society International/Canada, Animal Alliance Canada and Cruelty Free International, along with Cosmetics Alliance Canada, Lush Cosmetics and The Body Shop have been working closely with the Canadian government for several years to advance the legislation and issued the following statements:

Michael Bernard, deputy director, Humane Society International/Canada, said: “A decade of campaigning by Humane Society International/Canada and our partners is giving the Canadian beauty sector a cruelty-free makeover. We have been honoured to work closely with the Canadian government and all stakeholders to advance these measures over the years, and we are delighted to see Canada introduce this historic legislation to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade. When this bill becomes law, Canadian consumers can be assured that the cosmetics they purchase have not come as a result of animal suffering—and that is something we can all feel good about.”

Darren Praznik, president and CEO of Cosmetics Alliance Canada, said: “Industry and animal protection advocates have worked together over the last several years to advance a cosmetics animal testing ban in Canada. Since this issue was first raised in Parliament through a Private Member’s Bill in the Senate in 2015, our group has met frequently to build a collaborative relationship and to align on the principles with Health Canada while ensuring the ban works within the Canadian regulatory framework. We are very pleased to see the government bring forward this long overdue legislation.”

Liz White, director, Animal Alliance of Canada, said: “Animal Alliance supporters thank Minister Duclos and Health Canada staff for making the cosmetic animal testing ban a reality. Canada will join the growing number of countries worldwide that have ended such practices and the government will fulfill its promise to introduce legislation to end cosmetic testing on animals as soon as 2023.”

Monica Engebretson, head of public affairs North America, Cruelty Free International, said: “Cruelty Free International applauds this renewed effort to bring an end to animal testing for cosmetics across Canada. This is a unifying issue that has earned cross-party support in Canada and will match the progress we are seeing around the world as consumers, companies, regulators, and advocates come together to achieve a common goal of ensuring that animals won’t suffer for the sake of cosmetics anywhere.”

Brandi Halls, chief ethics officer, Lush Cosmetics North America, said: “As a company who has been campaigning to bring animal testing for cosmetics to an end since our inception over 25 years ago, today we join animal rights campaigners and animal lovers to celebrate this important moment for the global movement. By heeding the call of people across Canada, Minister Duclos and Health Canada are putting Canada on the right side of history ending this ineffective, inhumane and outdated practice. We’re proud to have partnered with HSI for over a decade and through customer responses to our in-shop campaigning, we know that the voice of the majority has been heard.”

Hilary Lloyd, VP of marketing and corporate responsibility, The Body Shop North America, said: “The Body Shop applauds Minister Duclos and Health Canada for their work in bringing forth this legislation. As a leader in cruelty-free beauty, we’re celebrating this milestone and reflecting on the passionate hard work from our retail teams and activist customers that delivered over 625,000 signatures to Parliament Hill in 2018 asking to end cosmetic animal testing. An important reminder that businesses have a responsibility in being a force for good. We encourage other governments around the world to follow suit.”


Media contacts:

Animal protection organizations and cosmetics industry urge Canadian government to table legislation

Humane Society International / Canada

Meredith Lee/HSUS

OTTAWA—Today, the Canadian government introduced its 2023 federal budget, which confirmed its commitment to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade. Animal protection advocates Humane Society International/Canada, Animal Alliance Canada and Cruelty Free International, along with Cosmetics Alliance Canada, Lush Cosmetics and The Body Shop, have been working closely with the Canadian government for several years on an initiative to advance legislation banning cosmetics animal testing in Canada.

The group of stakeholders released the following statement in response to today’s budget announcement:

“We are so pleased to see the inclusion of the commitment to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade in the federal budget. This suggests a landmark opportunity for the Canadian government to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade in the pending budget implementation bill. We strongly encourage the Canadian government to fulfill its mandate by introducing this legislation at the earliest opportunity and position Canada as a global leader in promoting alternatives to animal testing,” said the group of allied stakeholders.


Media contacts:

Humane Society International hosts full program for egg producers on the principles of cage-free production

Humane Society International


*Editor’s note: This page was updated to reflect actual attendees of the event.

MALAYSIA—Over the weekend, international and local business leaders, egg producers, advocates, students and professors, veterinarians, government representatives and many others gathered at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Kuala Lumpur to explore a new opportunity facing egg producers in Malaysia: cage-free egg production.  

This landmark event, hosted by Humane Society International, comes at the beginning of a wave of cage-free egg production in Malaysia and beyond as producers across the globe prepare to meet the shifting market and rising customer demand for higher welfare eggs.  

Worldwide, most hens kept for egg production are confined to small, wire cages with so little space they cannot even stretch their wings. Hens have scientifically documented behavioral needs. They require a nest for egg laying, loose litter for pecking and scratching and a perch for roosting at night. In contrast to cages, hens raised in a cage-free environment have space to move, to stretch their wings and to exhibit this important natural behavior. 

Recent surveys show that 84% of Malaysians agree that the welfare of farmed animals is important and most prefer to purchase cage-free eggs. Because of these consumer expectations, major food companies, the hospitality industry and grocers in Southeast Asia are seeking sources of cage-free eggs. As a major egg producer in the region, Malaysia is certainly poised to be a leader in supplying the growing consumer demand for products from higher welfare farming systems.   

At the event, scientists and veterinarians from Humane Society International and Wageningen University in the Netherlands gave research-based information on cage-free egg production. Both local and international corporations with cage-free pledges, including Old Town White Coffee and Farm Café described their commitments to social responsibility and animal welfare. Successful cage-free egg producers shared their stories and their reasons for transitioning from cages to cage-free. 

Humane Society International’s senior adviser of policy and engagement for the farm animal welfare department, Dr. Saravanakumar Supramaniam Pillai, stated, “Providing adequate room is a basic tenant of farm animal care and housing. Humane Society International is eager to assist egg producers who wish to embrace more scientifically advanced, socially accepted, and higher welfare methods of production. This event demonstrated that the future is without a doubt cage-free.”

Stefanie Yan, owner of Permagreen farms, agreed, adding: “Cage-free egg production is the right choice for our business. Hens can be raised without intensive confinement systems. Our customers demand it, and we are proud to supply them.”

Acting on principles of corporate social responsibility, many recognizable brands have made public facing pledges to go cage-free. Some of them have deadlines as soon as 2025. The hospitality industry is leading the way, as hotels and resorts welcome discerning international guests from areas of the world where cage-free eggs have already taken hold. They need the help of Malaysia’s egg producers to fulfill their promises, and the event served to further the necessary connections. It also provided technical information to egg producers for managing cage-free flocks, as well as case studies from successful producers already producing eggs without cages. Cage-free production requires a greater level of husbandry skill, so the audience received advice and guidance from egg producers in Taiwan and Mexico who have already made the switch. This landmark event marks the beginning of the wave of cage-free production that will inevitably reach Malaysia.  


Media contact: Madeline Bove: 213-248-1548; 

Learn More Button Inserter