A shocking two-minute movie is proving to be the catalyst for Vietnamese people -- tired of the cruelty and criminality of the dog meat trade -- to take a stand.
The message is -- "You can turn your face away…or you can act for change" -- and a staggering 408,049 Vietnamese have, signing a petition demanding the practice be ended.
On the back of stories of increased vigilantism against dog thieves, the video has hit the headlines in Vietnam's state media and has been further propelled via social media.
The two-minute movie was released by the Asian Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) with the highly ambitious aim of attracting 1 million signatures to end the dog meat industry. Now the target looks well within their reach.
The videos, which have been seen nearly 395,000 times on YouTube, show close ups of well-known celebrities flinching as they watch footage of dogs being slaughtered for consumption. The video relays the graphic horror of the horrific dog meat trade.
You can see an English version of the video here -- but please be prepared for graphic scenes.
Le Duc Chinh, Co-ordinator for ACPA said:
"The cruelty of the dog meat industry is a vital issue facing the modern Vietnam. The Vietnamese people are no longer willing to tolerate a brutal and unregulated trade which takes an estimated 5 million canine lives a year.
"It's a dark industry which also wrecks human lives -- not just in the agony of losing a cherished companion animal to dog thieves, or in the spread of diseases such as rabies, but also in the vigilante violence which is increasingly reported across the country.
"The dog meat trade is now a serious threat to social security and must be addressed."
Should the campaign reach its target of 1 million signatures, they will be submitted to the government ahead of the National Assembly in May, calling for Vietnam to erect its first animal welfare regulations.
The issue of eating dog meat has become an emotional topic in recent years as increasing dog thefts, combined with a lack of legislation, have led to a series of violent incidents which have shocked the country.
Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:
"The response to the campaign has been absolutely incredible and reflects what we know from working here on the ground day in and day out: the vast majority of the Vietnamese people abhor animal cruelty and are no longer willing to put up with the brutality inherent in the dog meat industry. What this video and its campaign is doing is giving them a legitimate platform to show their anger and desire to change. We are just overwhelmed by those flocking to add their voice."
Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) is an international alliance of animal protection organisations formed by Animals Asia, Humane Society International, Soi Dog Foundation, and Change For Animals Foundation.