No action taken in Thailand’s Dog welfare laws

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No action taken in Thailand’s Dog welfare laws

Nearly a year after legislation was put into effect regulating dog and cat breeders in Thailand, the Soi Dog Foundation has expressed concern about its implementation, stating that concrete legal action has yet to be taken.

The pieces of legislation in the question Dog Welfare in Dog Breeding Farms and Cat Welfare in Cat Breeding Farms were published on December 18, 2020 and became effective on June 16, 2021, according to the Government Gazette. Little has been done to make sure they are being implemented.

As a member of Thailand's Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animal Committee, Soi Dog Foundation was closely involved in the drafting of this legislation, which is intended to ensure the welfare of dogs and cats on breeding farms and in pet shops, to strengthen inspections of such farms and shops, and shut down those that don't comply with the necessary standards.

The legislation includes the diet and amount an animal is fed, the size of their enclosure or resting place, access to exercise, socialisation and veterinary care, and the maximum number of litters they produce in their lifetime, and at which point they should be retired from breeding altogether.

The Soi Dog Foundation does not agree with the intentional breeding of dogs and cats, especially given the enormous stray population already in the country, they recognise that it takes place and want to ensure the wellbeing of all animals involved.

"We understand that it has been difficult for the authorities to visit breeding farms and other commercial facilities during the epidemic," said Dr. Tuntikorn Rungpatana Dr. Oob, who represents Soi Dog on the aforementioned committee. During this time, we have seen farms close due to the economic crisis and abandoned animals, which is also a major problem. He said that now that the situation with Covid 19 is improving, we are hoping to see positive change in dog and cat breeding under these laws.

The need for these laws has been driven by inhumane breeding practices across the country, according to Dr. Oob. It is not uncommon for puppies and kittens to fall ill and die in their new homes, having been sold before receiving their essential vaccines. Once a retired from breeding, little is shown for the health and wellbeing of animals.

There is a wider discussion about the ethics of intentionally breeding dogs, especially those who are unsuited to the Thai climate and with genetic disorders as a result of inbreeding, when there are already so many on the streets and in shelters who are deserving of homes and who make equally wonderful companions.

Adopting is better for animal welfare than buying from breeders, and there are shelters around the country that adopt animals at no cost, including the Soi Dog Foundation, said Dr. Oob.

The Soi Dog Foundation has adopted thousands of dogs and cats into loving homes both within Thailand and overseas, and all of their rescued animals are spayed, fully vaccinated, microchipped and medically and behaviourally assessed. The foundation provides post-adoption support wherever necessary.

If someone insists on purchasing a dog or cat from a breeder instead of adopting, the foundation urges them to support a farm that operates with the wellbeing of the animals in mind and report any farms that do not.

Concerns can be reported via the DLD 4.0 mobile application to the Department of Livestock Development, the Provincial Livestock Company and the District Livestock Inspector. They can be reported to the Soi Dog Foundation at the clinic soidog.org.

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