Did you know that South Korea, Vietnam and Nigeria are the top three countries with the highest dog consumption in the world? These are the findings of a recent report by Matthew Nash, a lead researcher of an in-depth Dog-Friendly Country Index, highlighting the best and worst country to own a dog or be a dog in 2022.
Numerous countries, including Nigeria, have a long history of dog-eating and consider it part of their culinary tradition.
In China, several festivals encourage the consumption of dog meat.
In addition to the dog consumption rate, Mr Nash told PREMIUM TIMES that he also used seven key factors to rank the 51 countries with available data to create a “Dog-Friendly Country Index.”
These factors include animal rights, pet-friendly hotels, veterinarian availability, animal protection, risk of rabies, recognition of animal sentience and animal companionship.
The countries sampled in the report titled ’51 Most & Least Dog-Friendly Countries in 2022,’ released on March 25, 2022, were selected based on available data.
Because many countries lack rudimentary information about treating animals, specifically dogs, the researchers used a mixed-methods approach.
Unfortunately, Nigeria was ranked number 45 out of the 51 countries on the list, earning 44.41.
On the other hand, countries like Italy, New Zealand, France, the U.K, and Germany were ranked as the top five friendliest countries for dogs, each scoring above three hundred points.
Each of these countries demonstrated a commitment to legislation for protecting animals and various factors that can prevent the risk of harm to your faithful companion.
These countries scored well on low instances of rabies, available veterinary clinics and services, and pet-friendly accommodations.
In addition, they do not have a high prevalence of dog meat consumption.
Worst countries for dog ownership
Based on the study, the top 10 worst countries for dog ownership are:
Vietnam (-49.98), China (-41.23), Azerbaijan (0.40), Iran (0.45 points),Belarus (32.42 points), Indonesia (35.54 points) and Nigeria which ranks seventh on the list (44.41 points).
The researchers say all fifteen countries have a high risk for rabies infection (except for South Korea), lack comprehensive legislation for animal welfare, and have very few veterinarians per capita.
Additionally, six of these countries have a current, documented practice of eating dog meat. While it may still be possible to have a happy, healthy pet dog within these countries, their findings indicate they are not ideal for the dogs themselves or the owners.
Dog meat consumption in Nigeria
A major controversial highlight of this report is the high dog consumption rate in Nigeria. While Nigerians are no strangers to the news of dog eating in the country, it comes as a surprise that it’s prevalent despite the efforts of animal activists.
In July 2021, almost 18000 people signed an online petition urging the Nigerian government and President Muhammadu Buhari to ban the sale of dog meat in Nigeria.
Dog meat, popularly called 404, is a delicacy relished in the south-eastern part of the country. In Akwa-Ibom and Cross River states, dog meat is often prepared with ‘Kaikai’ (local gin) and Ntong (scent leaves) and sold at drinking joints.
Natasha Choolun, a UK-based international animal rights activist, started the petition in 2020.
The campaign hosted on Change.org is titled “Stop Nigeria’s Barbaric Dog Meat Industry”.
Similar to countries like Niger, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Tanzania, Nigeria is reported to have few veterinarians to administer medical treatments for dogs.
This earned her the rating of 0.4 for veterinarians per capita, negatively affecting her perception of being a dog-friendly country.
Despite being described as one of the worst countries to own a dog, Nigeria makes a significant achievement in the report due to her stance on animal rights.
Concerning Section 495 of the Criminal Code (1990), the constitution supports the protection of animal rights.
This is in contrast to countries like China, Belarus, Vietnam, Iran and Azerbaijan, which have no documented laws protecting animal rights. In addition, Nigeria falls short in other categories, namely high-risk countries with rabies, lack of pet-friendly hotels, and low animal companion grade.