Animal rights campaigners have held a sponsored walk in the Highlands to try and rescue dogs from the meat trade in Asia.
The companions are eaten in China, South Korea and Vietnam as well as other parts of the world.
A group came together in the north about a year ago to try and save as many of the animals as possible from the industry, which can lead to animals being kept permanently in confined conditions.
And during that time the Dog Meat Trade Dachsund Support Group has helped save 20 of the animals from Asia from the industry with many finding loving homes in the UK.
‘Nightmarish’ conditions for dogs
Julie Grant, from Forres, co-founded the group after becoming horrified at the conditions the dogs were being kept in.
Her poodle Evie had been destined to end up as meat before being adopted and being brought back to Scotland.
Mrs Grant said: “When I first saw her she didn’t have any hair and she was a right mess. She’s blind now too.
“It’s an outdated and barbaric industry. They’re breeding dogs specifically for that purpose, but they’re also stealing pets off the street before selling them to butchers.
“The meat markets are disgraceful. We want to see them stopped.”
Concerns have been raised about the dog meat trade by several organisations including the Animal Welfare Institute and global organisation Humane Society International.
The groups accept that culinary habits are a matter of cultural perspective, but have condemned the conditions the animals are forced to endure and the way they are slaughtered as “nightmarish”.
Pandemic has affected group’s work
Lockdown restrictions have forced up the price of helping to save Dachshunds and other animals from the dog meat industry.
Previously, campaigners were able to fly to Asia to collect them with a round-trip and the required vaccinations about costing about £700.
However, the coronavirus pandemic now means the animals need to be flown over as cargo, which has forced up the price to about £3,500.
The Dog Meat Trade Dachsund Support Group held the 10-mile sponsored walk in Aviemore from the Cairngorm Mountain car park to the Bridge Inn to raise funds for the travel.
Mrs Grant said: “We’ve managed to get about 10 adopted so far in the UK with 10 still in China while they go through all their checks and tests.
“I don’t know why Dachsunds in particular. I just love them, and so many other people do too.”
Donations can still be made online to help the group’s work here.