The information that Hoi An City People’s Committee signed with FOUR PAWS a commitment on not using dog and cat meat for food has caught the special attention from the public. The agreement already takes effect and lasts for two years.
While people and travelers have shown their support and agreement, business households are worried about their livelihoods.
Julie Sanders of FOUR PAWS said: “This is an important, groundbreaking moment in Vietnam and in the region. Every year more than 5 million dogs and 1 million cats are trafficked and killed for meat in Vietnam, endangering animal rights and public health. Dogs and cats can be the source of disease. I call for the community to stop eating dog meat.”
The owners of dog meat shops in Hoi An said they are facing difficulties because of the municipal authorities’ decision.
Nguyen Van Thanh, the owner of Thanh Bac Dog Meat Shop, said he has heard about Hoi An’s commitment, but he is still serving dog meat dishes at his shop.
His shop, operational since 2003, receives nearly 100 clients each day. The shop is a major source of revenue for his family for many years.
“We will have to observe decisions by the municipal authorities, but there should be solutions for us to shift to other business,” Thanh said.
Thuong, 34, the owner of Ha Thanh Dog Meat Shop on Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, also said he still doesn’t know what he would do if he has to shut down the shop, which is the income for his 4-member family.
Hanoi should learn from Hoi An and refuse dog, cat meat?
Vietnam capital city of Hanoi also planned to ban the trade in dog and cat meat in central districts from 2021, but locals say the practice is an integral part of Vietnamese culture and should not be regulated.
Since 2018, the capital city announced that the slaughter and consumption of what many consider to be pets are off-putting for tourists and expatriates and do not present a “modern” image of the capital.
Local district authorities have been urged recently to launch campaigns aimed at getting people to stop eating dog and cat meat, warning of the risks of contracting diseases, including potentially deadly rabies and leptospirosis that could be passed on from infected animals. Hanoi also plans to close down all dog meat restaurants in the city center.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was estimated that more than 1,000 vendors and restaurants in Hanoi alone offer dog and cat meat.