Vietnamese tourist city Hoi An to phase out a 'delicacy' — dog and cat meat

WION Web Team
Hanoi, Vietnam Published: Dec 10, 2021, 06:02 PM(IST)

Every year, Vietnam consumes an estimated five million canines - the second-highest consumption in the world after China - with some believing the meat can help dispel bad luck. Photograph:( AFP )

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In parts of the country, dog meat is considered a delicacy to be eaten with rice wine or beer. Although less popular, cats are also served on some menus and are referred to as 'little tigers'

In a first for a country that considers cat and dog meat delicacies, officials in a popular Vietnamese tourist city announced they will start phasing out the sale of these animal's meat.

Hoi An, a world heritage site and a historic trading port, has signed an agreement with animal rights group Four Paws International pledging to phase out sales and consumption of cat and dog meat.

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"We want to help promote animal welfare through rabies eradication, phasing out the dog and cat meat trade, and making the city a premier destination for tourism," vice city mayor Nguyen The Hung said.

Every year, Vietnam consumes an estimated five million canines - the second-highest consumption in the world after China - with some believing the meat can help dispel bad luck.

It was a watershed moment, said Julie Sanders from Four Paws International, that could set an example for other places in Vietnam.

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The animal rights group commissioned a national poll this year that found that only 6.3 per cent of 600 Vietnamese surveyed consume the four-legged creatures, with 88 per cent in favour of banning their consumption.

In parts of the country, dog meat is considered a delicacy to be eaten with rice wine or beer. Although less popular, cats are also served on some menus and are referred to as "little tigers."

Although the practice has waned as incomes rise and more affluent people keep dogs as pets, dog meat remains readily accessible in Hanoi with some dismissing animal welfare concerns.

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"I don't think anyone should ban the eating of dog meat. It's our culture," says one Hanoi resident Phan Van Cuong.

Officials in Hanoi encouraged people to stop eating dog meat in 2018 because it was damaging the capital's reputation and was associated with the potential to expose people to deadly rabies infections.

(With inputs from agencies)

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