The call comes with just over six months to go before the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Hanoi in April 2020.
“The Mayor of Hanoi is marketing the city as a desirable destination for tourism and business investment. The upcoming Grand Prix being a major part of this plan. This puts Formula 1 in a unique position with the Vietnamese authorities,” says co-founder of Soi Dog Foundation John Dalley in a petition letter to Chase Carey, CEO of the Formula One Group.
“Although we cannot expect you to demand an end to this inhumane trade, being as it is completely unregulated, you are in a powerful position to exert influence.
“We know from local discussions that the Mayor would like to see an end to the business, but just needs a firm message of support from someone with international influence for him to ban it totally. Will you be that person?”
An estimated five million dogs and cats are slaughtered and eaten in Vietnam every year. Most of them are snatched street animals or pets kidnapped from owners’ gardens.
The animals are transported across the country jammed in cages so tightly they cannot move, often without food or water, before being force-fed rice or even cement to increase their weight, then bludgeoned, knifed or burned alive in filthy illegal abattoirs.
Aside from the obvious cruelty involved, the trade in dog flesh is a serious risk to health too.
But the foundation is hopeful that, if it can get Hanoi to implement the ban, more cities will follow, causing a ripple effect that could save millions of dogs.
The petition has over 880,000 signatures. The target is 1,250,000. Sign the petition here.