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|(Photo: ABC News)|
Some 30% of dog and cat shops in Hanoi have been closed over the past two years in response to the city's call for limiting consumption of dog and cat meat, Nguyen Ngoc Son, head of the Animal Health Department under the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Department, told local media.
The campaign was launched by the local government two years ago to encourage local residents to stop the practice, deemed as cruel by animal rights groups.
Therefore, Hanoians’ awareness on the consumption of dog and cat meat has changed, especially among young people.
However, Son acknowledged that most people still have not given up the habit of eating dog and cat meat.
Vietnam is the second-largest consumer of dog meat in the world after China, with roughly five million dogs slaughtered every year.
The Asia Canine Protection Alliance has recently sent a petition to Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, expressing their concerns over the trading of dog and cat meat in Vietnam and its risks for the transmission of zoonotic diseases.
|(Photo: Time Magazine)|
According to the alliance, the trading of the canine and feline meat has a close connection to the trading of wild animals and implies certain risks for the human’s health safety.
While Katherine Polak, head of Stray Animal Care - Southeast Asia for FOUR PAWS International, stressed that the organization believes it is only a matter of time before the next deadly zoonotic disease emerges if the practice of consuming wild animal is not eradicated.
The World Health Organization also explicitly highlighted the trade in dogs for human consumption as a contributing factor to the spread of rabies, and that 70% of global disease-causing pathogens discovered in the past 50 years came from animals. The trade also directly undermines Vietnam’s rabies control strategy and disrupts any attempts at developing herd immunity through mass canine vaccination programs.
Many countries worldwide have worked jointly to fight the Covid-19 pandemic while non-governmental organizations call on some nations to urgently act to permanently close the wide animal trading market, which is suspected the origin of Covid-19 contagion.
According to ACPA, the Hanoi People’s Committee released a statement in 2018 urging local district authorities to widely warn residents about the risks of spreading diseases including rabies, cholera, and aspergillosis caused by the habit of eating dog and cat meat. The committee also said that the trading and slaughtering of dogs and cats have badly affected Hanoi’s image.
Son from the municipal Department of Animal Health said that they are building a plan to gradually phase out the slaughtering and trading of dog meat.
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