Vietnamese city promises to end dog and cat meat trade

Four dogs cramped in a small cage
Dogs in cages near dog meat restaurant, Vietnam, photo: Four Paws

The city of Hoi An in Vietnam plans to stop selling cat and dog meat, officials said Friday. Around five million dogs are eaten every year in Vietnam.

“Animal welfare is important to both international and local tourists. Especially, as companion animals are becoming increasingly seen as family members in Vietnam,” Hoi An’s vice mayor Nguyen The Hung said.

The city signed a deal with international animal welfare organization Four Paws to phase out cat and dog meat sales.

Julie Sanders, director of companion animals at Four Paws, called the deal a critical turning point for Vietnam’s dog and meat industry. “Every year in Vietnam, more than five million dogs and a million cats are trafficked and slaughtered for their meat,” Sanders said.

She hopes other towns and cities across Vietnam will follow Hoi An’s example. Four Paws conducted a survey this year, which found that only 6.3 percent of Vietnamese people consume dogs, with 88 percent supporting a ban.

Working with government agencies in the region, the organization has advocated for a ban on dog and cat meat, due to the extreme animal cruelty involved.

Last year, the owners of a cat meat restaurant in the city of Thai Binh didn’t want to kill animals anymore and turned their place into a motorbike shop with the help of Four Paws and other animal welfare organizations.

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