Residents in Vietnam’s capital have been told to stop eating dog meat because it hurts the city’s image and improper slaughtering of the animals could spread rabies.
For many Vietnamese, dog meat is a delicacy that is thought to increase stamina.
Hanoi Vice Mayor Nguyen Van Suu said in a message on the city’s website that slaughtering and consuming dog and cat meat are disturbing to foreigners and “negatively impact the image of a civilised and modern capital.”
Nguyen instructed local governments to raise awareness of the risk of rabies when raising dog and cat meat.
Around 493,000 dogs and cats are in the Vietnam’s capital city.
Some 87.5 per cent are kept as pets and the rest used for “other purposes’’ namely for their meat, according to city statistics.
Dog and cat meat is considered a delicacy by some Vietnamese, although others have shunned the practice as house pets become increasingly popular among the growing middle class.
“Slaughtering, using dog and cat meat has created objections among tourists and international visitors living in Hanoi, affecting the image of a civilized capital,’’ said a directive issued by Nguyen.
Three people died this year from rabies, possibly transmitted via meat, the official said.
“People need to abandon the habit of using dog and cat meat,’’ the document said.