Vietnam, ranking second globally after China, witnesses the unfortunate slaughter of approximately five million dogs annually for their meat. This shocking practice is fueled by two contrasting beliefs: some individuals perceive consuming dog meat as a means to ward off misfortune, while others view it as an exquisite delicacy.
As more and more people in urban areas choose to keep dogs as pets, there is a gradual shift in the perception of consuming dog meat. This change in attitudes indicates a growing reluctance towards the practice.
On Friday, Kieu Viet Hung, an experienced professional with seven years of experience in the industry, compassionately transferred a group of 44 dogs to a well-equipped shelter. This facility will diligently provide care and support for these animals while actively seeking loving homes to ensure their future well-being.
Hung, aged 39, expressed to AFP his remorse for taking the lives of these creatures as he nostalgically reflected, "In the past, when I would eliminate them, a sense of pity would overwhelm me." He shared these sentiments while being interviewed at his farm located in the picturesque and mountainous region of Thai Nguyen City, situated in the northern part of Hanoi.
On November 3, 2023, Kieu Viet Hung, the proprietor of a dog farm and slaughterhouse located in Thai Nguyen Province, was captured in an image gently cradling a dog while standing amidst rows of cages. The photograph captures an intriguing scene that sheds light on the controversial practices associated with the dog industry.
Over the course of the last seven years, Hung has been involved in the unfortunate act of slaughtering a significant number of dogs, reaching an estimated count of up to 20,000. It is disheartening to note that a considerable portion of these dogs were sourced from rural families engaged in at-home puppy breeding endeavors as a means to augment their financial resources.
According to the Humane Society International (HSI), a number of charities are actively working to put an end to the dog meat trade in Vietnam. Traders used to bring approximately 50 puppies to Hung's facility every one or two months, where they were forced to live in dirty cages. These innocent animals would be kept there for weeks or even months, being fed excessively to fatten them up, only to meet a tragic fate of being killed.
Hung has made a strategic shift in his business, transitioning to the lucrative market of trading scrap metal and selling fertilizer.
According to HSI, the majority of dogs that lose their lives in Vietnam are either stolen pets or stray animals that have been forcibly taken from the streets. These heartless acts are often carried out through the use of poisoned bait, painful taser guns, or by smuggling dogs across the border from neighboring countries like Cambodia.
Lola Webber of HSI informed AFP that although the government has implemented certain measures like raising penalties for pet animal theft, it is evident that there remains a significant issue with the insufficient enforcement of these regulations.
Despite the efforts of authorities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to discourage the consumption of dog meat, the trade persists in both regions.
According to state media, a recent incident in Ho Chi Minh City involved a driver colliding his car with a motorbike carrying two individuals who were transporting a bag filled with stolen dogs.