[VNExpress] Central Hoi An Town has become Vietnam’s first to phase out dog and cat meat consumption in an effort to become a tourist-friendly destination.
The central Vietnam town authorities on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with animal welfare organization Four Paws to phase out the sale of cat and dog meat as part of efforts to eliminate rabies and create a tourist-friendly environment.
The MoU would take effect at the end of this year and remain effective for two years.
Julie Sanders, Four Paws’ director of Companion Animals, said over 5 million dogs and cats in Vietnam are sold yearly to be consumed as meat, representing community health risks. The initiative pioneered by Hoi An could be replicated across localities, she added.
Nguyen The Hung, vice chairman of Hoi An People’s Committee, said it wants to bolster animal rights, eliminate rabies and phase out the sale of dog and cat meat through the agreement.
“It would help the town become a ‘green’ tourist destination,” he said. “The aim is to convince people not to consume dog and cat meat, and to continue preventing rabies.”
Hung added families that sell dog and cat meat cannot be banned from doing so, only encouraged to drop the practice.
There are over 2,500 dogs and cats in Hoi An, of which around 70-90 percent have been vaccinated against rabies.
Hoi An ancient town has been named the winner of Asia’s leading cultural city destination category at 2021 World Travel Awards.
Hoi An served as a busy international port from the 16th to 19th centuries, as merchant ships from many different countries passed by here. It has managed to preserve its tranquility and slow pace of life to become one of the most famous tourist hotspots in Vietnam.
It was recognized as a UNESCO world cultural heritage site in 1998.