What Countries are Cruel to Animals in 2021?

by Becky

April 22, 2021

In a man’s world – taking care of animals and keeping them safe is our responsibility. And while most people do a great job of this and take care of pets, or at least they choose to treat animals with respect. There are still countries where animals undergo a lot of cruelty and hurt for no reason.

Animal cruelty can happen in any country, but the places with the poorest protective laws and cultural respect for animals include the Netherlands, Japan, China, Greece, Venezuela, and Spain.

These countries each have specific issues around animal cruelty that might surprise you. If we want anything to be done, it is crucial to be aware of the problem and make changes that will keep animals safe, no matter where they are in the world.

Let’s look closer at which countries are cruel to animals and some of the steps we can take to keep animals safe.

What Countries are Cruel to Animals?

Each country has different laws on how animals need to be treated within its borders. Some are considered crueler to animals than others. Countries that make the list for being cruel to animals include the following…

The Netherlands Is an Animal Trading Hotspot

While the Netherlands is introducing stricter laws over the past few years to prevent animal cruelty, whether for pets or farm animals – we can’t help but notice their checkered past. They have built up a name for themselves in the livestock or animal export trade.

They are most famous for trading animals, such as:

  • Cats
  • Ducks
  • Geese

Not only were these animals treated in a cruel and inhumane way in The Netherlands – but a study showed that they had the highest number of live animal exports in the world in 2013, sitting at whopping 346 917 529 animals.

There is hope that the Dutch government can help to curtail this and keep animals safer as they are being traded.

China Is a Honeypot of Animal Cruelty

China is one of the main countries known for its cruelty to animals. And this reputation wasn’t built out of thin air. To this day, China still does more animal testing than any other country in the world.

It is still known for its barbaric Yulin dog meat festival, where domesticated dogs are beaten, boiled alive, and skinned for their meat – and many other sickening practices. Many animals are killed in this country just so their skin can be used for different products.

Some other ways animal cruelty shows up in this country include:

  • Farming animals like mink to make coats and other products.
  • Torturing birds and posting online as entertainment.
  • Catching fish and removing their internal organs while alive.

Japan Has Poor Treatment of Stray Pets

Despite being a developed country, Japan is known for its poor treatment of many stray cats and dogs. This is ironic given how much attention is given to the world of pets and even their famous pet cafes.

While some countries may torture strays and other animals who are not considered pets, people in Japan seem to go after even domesticated animals.

It is estimated that 200,000 stray cats and dogs are killed in the country every year, and this isn’t a fair process either. Animals are given seven days to be adopted in shelters; otherwise, they are inhumanely gassed. More than 80% of its shelter animals are killed every year.

You might not think you’re contributing to this issue at all when you visit a pet café there – but you are. The minute these animals are older, sick, or cannot be handled – they’re sent straight back to a mill or sold as quickly as possible.

The good news is that programs are being launched to provide homes and safety for animals being harmed.

Greece Has Tales of Animal Cruelty

Animal cruelty also shows up in Greece, unfortunately. Cats and dogs are most often harmed within the country due to the severe issue they have with strays and ferals – but this doesn’t exempt other animals from the list.

The most common issues are usually around little kittens or puppies put into plastic bags and thrown in the trash until they suffocate and die. While people have growing respect and understanding for these sentient creatures – there is a lack of awareness that isn’t seen in the rest of western Europe.

When it comes to wildlife, Greece has a growing problem with its rare sea turtle species facing the wrath of pollution – particularly plastic waste. In 2020, a reported 700 turtles were killed by human recklessness. Better wildlife protection laws are needed here and fast!

Some steps forward have been made, and new laws are now in place to make animal abuse punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Spain Allows Personal Slaughterhouses

Spain is often known for all its natural beauty. But unfortunately, providing its animals decent care or attention is where it often falls very short.

They enjoy hunting as a pastime, but not in the slightly more "humane" way that we advocate. Families are allowed to have their own “slaughterhouse” to kill helpless animals and then eat them. This process isn't regulated at all.

Outside of hunting and killing animals from the forest for food, some people in Spain are known to kill other animals for no reason, including:

  • Calves
  • Pigs
  • Dogs
  • Kittens

This is on top of some of the bullfighting and horse cruelty that has gone on in this country over the years. In some parts of the world, these abuses may seem inhumane, but they are more common to see in this country.

Venezuela Abuses Exotic Animals

It is not uncommon to hear about the inhumane treatment of animals like cats and dogs in most countries. But Venezuela often takes this to a different level by choosing larger animals that they will choose to abuse.

It is not uncommon to hear about abuse of animals, including:

One of the most recent of these animal abuse stories happened with the death of a lion called Casimiro. This lion died because of some wounds he received from visitors to the zoo that he lived in and not because of his caretakers.

It is also common for the citizens of this country to chase, slaughter, and whip many animals when they want, including wild geese and horses. They often take the abuse further than what other countries would allow.

It doesn’t get any better when it comes to zoo animals – read on here if you want to know more about how we treat our animals in captivity: Are Zoos Cruel to Animals?

How to Prevent Animal Cruelty?

It is hard to imagine a way to stop animal cruelty. It happens all around the world. While you may not be able to put a stop to it in each country, you can make a difference in your own country. Some of the ways that you can help include:

Join an Animal Rights Organization

This is a great first step. Donating either your money or time can help out animals all around the world. These non-profits launch investigations, report animal cruelty to the authorities, and rescue animals.

Some of the best animal rights organizations to consider include:

  • Animal Welfare Institute
  • Best Friends Animal Society
  • Farm Sanctuary
  • Friends of Animals
  • The Marine Mammal Center

These are just a few of the animal rights organizations that you can choose to help out. By donating your time or your money, you can make a difference in the lives of so many animals throughout the world.

Report the Abuse

If you see any animal abuse around you, it is essential to report it. If you do not feel comfortable confronting the abuser on your own because of your own safety, you can report it to the proper authorities. When you do report this, you are helping the animals get out of the unsafe situation.

You should also avoid attending any entertainment events that tend to victimize animals. When you pay for the tickets, you let the event organizers think that you approve of their methods. Sometimes withholding your money is the best way to prevent cruelty.

If you want to know more about animals in the entertainment industry, here is a great read for you: Are Some Traditional Forms of Entertainment Cruel to Animals?

Consider a Vegan Lifestyle

You may also need to consider going vegan to help keep animals safe from animal farms and more. This means that you need to avoid eating any kind of animal by-products.

Those who genuinely embrace the vegan lifestyle will also be careful about the non-food products that they use. They will not purchase something that is made out of leather, for example. To be truly vegan, it is best to avoid any product tested on animals too.

Spread Awareness

One of the best things you can do to protect animals and prevent animal abuse and cruelty in all areas of the world is to spread awareness. Let people know about animal cruelty through social media and in person. Awareness can help prevent more abuse from happening.

Keeping Animals Safe

It is essential to keep animals safe throughout the world. Mistreating animals and not giving them the care and love they need is simply cruel, and there is no reason for it. By following the tips above to help prevent animal cruelty, we can make the world a better place for all animals.

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