Vietnam’s Hoi An city to phase out dog and cat meat

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An estimated five million dogs are consumed each year in Vietnam, but the practice is dying out, with 88 percent advocating a ban in a recent poll.

Vietnamese officials in downtown Hoi An announced it would be the country’s first dog and cat meat-free city. (AFP)

A popular Vietnamese tourist town has committed to phasing out cat and dog meat sales, a first in a country where some animals consider animals a delicacy.

Authorities in Hoi An, a historic trading port and World Heritage Site, signed a deal with animal rights group Four Paws International on Friday promising to end the sale and consumption of cat and dog meat.

“We want to support animal welfare by eradicating rabies, phasing out the dog and cat meat trade and developing the city into a prime tourist destination,” said Nguyen City Deputy Mayor The Hung.

Julie Sanders of Four Paws International said it was a turning point that could be an example for other places in Vietnam.

A nationwide survey commissioned by the animal rights group this year found that only an estimated 6.3 percent of 600 Vietnamese surveyed consume the four-paws – 88 percent are in favor of a ban.

Health concerns

The custom has subsided as incomes rise and the affluent keep the animals as pets, but dog meat is still readily available in Hanoi, with animal welfare concerns being somewhat dismissed.

“I don’t think anyone should ban the consumption of dog meat. That’s our culture, ”said Phan Van Cuong from Hanoi.

An estimated five million dogs are consumed in Vietnam each year – the second highest in the world after China – and some believe that consuming the meat can help drive bad luck away.

In 2018, Hanoi officials urged people to stop eating dog meat as it damaged the capital’s reputation and raised health concerns that could lead to deadly rabies infections.

CONTINUE READING: China’s Shenzhen Bans Eating Cats and Dogs After Coronavirus

Source: AFP