The Phuket-based Soi Dog foundation has welcomed the ban on the sale of dog meat in Hanoi.
The director of the city’s Department of Animal Health, Nguyen Ngoc Son, told Lao Dong Newspaper on September 12 that “following a direction from the city’s People’s Committee that called on residents to ease off eating dog meat, we are building a plan to gradually phase out the slaughtering and trading of dog meat. By 2021 there will be no dog meat restaurants in the city centre”.
This photo taken on July 26, 2012 shows slaughtered dogs hanging up for sale in front of a dog meat shop on a street in Hanoi.// AFP PHOTO
The People’s Committee had asked city residents the previous day to stop eating dog and cat meat, and urged local district authorities to launch campaigns to warn people about the risks of contracting diseases, including potentially deadly rabies and leptospirosis, from eating dog and cat meat.
The committee also said that the slaughter and sale of dogs and cats for their meat had damaged Hanoi's image.
The Soi Dog Foundation, which has been working with the Hanoi People’s Committee to end the dog meat trade, was surprised and delighted by the announcement.
A woman sells dog meat at a market stall in Hanoi, Vietnam, 17 September 2018. // EPA-EFE PHOTO
The charity’s founder, John Dalley, said: “This is wonderful news. We sincerely hope that, step by step, this planned ban will be spread out across the entire city and will be emulated by other cities in Vietnam.
“There is no place for cruelty in culture. Hanoi is growing into a 21st century city, and practices that belong in the dark ages should be cleared away.”
Soi Dog’s representative in Vietnam, Bao Tran, said: “This is huge news here. It was the biggest story on all news outlets in Vietnam, and seems to be widely supported by people.
“The vital component now is for Hanoi to discuss and create the legal framework for banning the dog and cat meat trade. Soi Dog will be happy to help and guide in any way we can.”
The Soi Dog Foundation was instrumental in tackling the organised smuggling of dogs out of Thailand via Laos to Vietnam. Today that trade has dwindled to a trickle.
Dalley was also a member of the Thai government committee that drafted an anti-cruelty law that came into force in 2014. The law made the eating of dog and cat meat in Thailand illegal.