Vietnamese officials could impose a ban on the tradition of eating dog and cat meat

Dogs and cats are sold for meat in Vietnam, but officials could soon put a stop to it
Dogs are sold for meat all over Vietnam. ©Sakura. Unsplash

Vietnamese locals in the capital of Hanoi have been eating the meat of cats and dogs for generations. But government officials are trying to put a stop to it in fear of the effect that cat and dog eating has on the city’s reputation.

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If you have ever travelled in Vietnam, you may have stopped in the street in shock after seeing a bustling restaurant selling a slightly different type of meal than you’re used to. Yep, that’s right – dishes based on the meat of cats and dogs. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 1,000 stores and restaurants in Hanoi still sell cat and dog meat today.

Vietnamese officials want to stop the consumption of dog and cat meat

Channel News Asia reported on the practice, explaining that roasted, boiled or steamed dog meat “can be found in markets and food shops across the capital city famed for its tasty street food, and the meat is traditionally eaten with rice wine or beer”. But this Vietnamese tradition could soon come to an abrupt end in the vibrant capital.

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The Hanoi People’s Committee has hit out at locals, claiming that eating dog and cat meat risks destroying Hanoi’s image as a “civilised and modern capital”, according to an article by Time. They added that “The trading, killing and use of cat and dog meat has brought on a negative reaction from tourists and expatriates living in Hanoi”. They also mentioned that eating meat has the potential to spread diseases like rabies or leptospirosis.

Locals in Vietnam often enjoy cat and dog meat
Locals in Vietnam often enjoy cat and dog meat ©Pixabay

Locals aren’t happy with the campaign

Around 490,000 pet dogs and cats are said to live in Hanoi – so it seems surprising that this trend is still taking hold. Although a growing number of people in Vietnam, particularly the younger generation, it’s still said to remain a “deep-rooted habit” for many, according to the BBC.

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Some locals hit out on social media following the announcement, claiming that imposing a complete ban on cat and dog meat amounted to a “deprivation of freedom”. Many of them suggested that instead, the government should implement a heavy tax on dog and cat meat, or only allow it in certain areas of the city.

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I'm a Digital Media & Marketing graduate who lives in the beautiful area of North Wales. Since graduating, I've been working freelance as a copywriter and digital marketer. At the weekend, you'll find me taking and editing photographs, updating my blog ( or looking after my mischevious rescue cat, Mabel. I've loved animals for as long as I can remember. I've had pretty much every pet under the sun - cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, fish, stick insects - and have spent time volunteering at animal shelters in Asia.