June 3, 2020
In Vietnam, despite the fact that Hanoi authorities have announced a plan to ban dog meat in 2021, there are still markets in rural areas and cities which include stalls selling domestic animals for food.
A few months ago the Food Safety Management Board of HCMC urged people to stop eating dog meat, citing that it could also contain parasites, especially eggs and larvae that do not transform in the intestines but could penetrate the liver, lungs and other organs, and even the brain and eyes, a condition known medically as Larva migrans, which is potentially dangerous to humans. Beyond health concerns, the committee also urged locals to “see value in treating animals humanely”.
The internet also contributed to the growing public outcry against dog stealing in recent years, with increasing awareness that dogs cooked in restaurants are stolen pets. Still, the Vietnamese market consumes roughly 5 million dogs per year, which is almost equal to the number of dogs living as pets in households nationwide.
Last year it was estimated by Human Society International that approximately 20,000 dogs were stolen from Vietnam’s southern cities and transported to the north for sale each month, a practice that encourages the spread of rabies among the captive dogs. The dog meat trade in Vietnam is known for being especially cruel, even relative to other animal trades; according to the animal welfare group Animals Asia, as dogs are typically stolen off the streets or from their owners and restrained by wire nooses before being bludgeoned to death. Dogs usually travel jammed into cages piled on trucks. Many die on the journey. Those that survive face a horrific death.
Little by little in Vietnam is changing attitudes and perceptions of a growing middle class seeing canines as companions have led people to eat less dog meat and for the last several years, sales have dropped. Seeing dogs as a part of the family and creating relationships with them has become a common thing these days but let’s did not forget that Not so long ago, it was a luxury to have a pet in Vietnam. Sociologists and other experts say several factors have led to the drop in consumption of dog meat. One of them is an increase in pet ownership that has followed a rise in incomes and living standards. The increased affection for animals, dogs, in particular, has led to a reduction in people seeing canines only as food. Other reports have noted that the country’s divorce rate has also skyrocketed over the past 10 years, especially in urban areas. These modern trends have made people seek greater companionship from pets in general and dogs in particular.
In the meantime, waiting for a plan to ban dog meat in 2021, ONG and people in Vietnam continue to fight against domestic animal cruelty in the country.