On location -

‘Shadow Trade’ took 18 months to produce with our investigation and filming specialists spending most of that time in the dog meat trade hotspots. Two main trips saw Director Richard Elson and Director of Photography Ben Todd travel from London to Thailand and Vietnam. In addition to this two dog smuggling interception operations involved cameraman Prem Ananda being flown in urgently from Manila and news cameraman Florian Witulski being rushed from Bangkok. Journalist John Keeble was on the scene, travelling within Thailand on the investigation, whose costs were financed by the Soi Dog Foundation.

In the shadows of the trade, a small group of Thai heroes enabled us to film during their dangerous undercover work.

This investigative documentary offers a unique insight into a practice that has been known by the public only as arrest and reaction headlines. It has never-before-seen footage and firsthand accounts from eye witnesses, high ranking officials and even smugglers themselves.

The unfolding story explains the trade and the cruelty without showing the harrowing scenes that still haunt those who witnessed them. It also shows that many of the people living in Thailand condemn the dog meat trade and campaign against it.

Mostly ‘Shadow Trade’ was filmed openly and with full permission from subjects but at times the team had to use undercover methods. Specialist filming equipment, including cameras hidden in watches and buttonholes, were used. Wherever possible, the team acted to save the lives and suffering of the dogs.

The complicated logistics were managed from London by Producer Ella Todd and Researcher Stacey Emiliou.

Meet the team -

While many passionate people came together to help make Shadow Trade possible, a core team worked on the film exclusively for over 18 months > MORE

Treatment -

Thailand, one of the most beautiful and peaceful nations in the world, houses a deadly secret. A savage and harrowing trade reaches across the entire country yet is somehow hidden from most of its people. Dogs are disappearing by the thousand, pet and street dogs all vanishing into the shadows, but where are they going? Shot on location in Thailand and Vietnam the documentary follows the stoic determination of an ex-Fleet Street journalist as he battles to uncover the truth. Tracking down the cruelty from all angles the film exposes the inhumane practices of both a local and international trade. With the help of many tenacious supporters he aims to expose the secrets of this tragedy, but will this be enough to galvanise a country into action?

Why dogs, not pigs? -

During the production process Environment Films received many enquiries about the future of the dogs we filmed and about the ethics of producing a documentary about dog slaughter when billions of other animals, (pigs, chickens and cows for example) are killed annually.

To answer the first question - “What happened to the dogs you filmed?” All the dogs filmed in Thailand were, where possible, rescued and taken to one of the shelters where they received food and as much medical care as was available. These shelters are owned and managed by the Thai government who do not have a budget to care for the dogs so the Soi Dog Foundation and caring Thai people supply food, medical treatment, vets, building materials and staff (volunteers). However, with limited resources, rife with disease and overcrowding, the shelter environment is a tough one that will see most dogs die within a few months. Environment Films are proud members of a special club set up to help this situation. Please join the club too, to directly save dogs lives > HERE and read more about the overall campaign > HERE

To answer the second question about the ethics of producing a documentary about dying dogs when billions of other animals are killed annually across the globe, the good news is that founded and managed under a vegan philosophy Environment Films does not discriminate between species and produces media for a broad selection of animal and environmental charities. Over the years Environment Films has produced an extremely large catalogue of documentaries and campaign films about factory farming; the dairy industry; the use of animals in entertainment and vivisection. It is the UK’s leading ethical film production company, whose determind focus is to improve the welfare of all animals through education and thus gaining momentum for the rapidly growing movement  > MORE


Director / Editor - Richard Elson

Producer - Ella Todd

Director of Photography - Ben Todd

Investigitive Journalist - John Keeble

Music - Michael Nyman and Mark Adair

Assistant Editor - Bastien Bourdeaux

Edit consultant - Susan Brand

Researchers - Stacey Emiliou, Soi Dog Foundation,

Production Assistant - Lucinda Dunseath

Graphics - Ada Bodjolle

Post audio / picture grade - 5A Studios

Director - Richard Elson. Producer - Ella Todd. Director of Photography - Ben Todd.

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