Animal welfare is an emerging interest in Vietnam (please stop eating domestic cats)

A Vietnamese website (VN Express) says that animal welfare is an emerging interest among Vietnamese citizens. It's a good title and it made me smile. However, I immediately thought about cat meat which is still very much on the menu in Vietnam. So clearly, a concern about animal welfare is only emerging and is not yet established otherwise there would be no cat meat in Vietnam.

Animal welfare. Photo: Pixabay.

Apparently cat meat is technically illegal in Vietnam but you can buy it all over the country. It is referred to as "baby tiger". The business is inherently cruel and I'm told that over 1 million cats are killed annually to be eaten by Vietnamese citizens.

RELATED: How to stop the cat meat trade in Vietnam

Please stop eating domestic and stray cats. These are meant to be loved pets not livestock. And often they are killed in unregulated ways which is inherently cruel. The business does not square up with the headline on this page.

RELATED: Another gruesome report about Vietnam’s cat meat trade

Despite that, there are some positive signs that animal welfare is more of a concern to Vietnamese citizens. There was a story about a man setting fire to his cat. Obviously an utterly outrageous and desperately cruel incident. But it shocked and outraged Vietnamese citizens. They expressed disbelief that a person could be as cruel and as evil as this. The cat survived and has been treated.

The perpetrator of that desperate act of cruelty apologised on Facebook. He admitted that there was no excuse for it. Comment: obviously true. There was no need to even state that. I stress: it did not need stating because it is obvious. The online community refused to accept his apology. They continued to criticise him for his inhumane act. The cat has been named Dilo. The community rallied around to help fund his treatment.

And it even got to the point apparently where the store where this man worked was forced to shut down recently (for a while?) because of protests of some sort. Perhaps they were online protestations. The man lives in Hanoi by the way.

There was another interesting story about an overreaction by the authorities when they euthanised (I hope genuinely humanely) 15 dogs and cats belonging to a person who contracted Covid. I guess they were destroyed under a zero tolerance policy of some sort. The officials' actions drew condemnation from Vietnamese citizens and the international community. The measure was deemed to be too extreme because there are better alternatives.

The local authority later admitted that they had acted too hastily and promised to rectify the shortcomings in the future.

The petition was commenced online which urged the Vietnamese authorities to come up with veterinary guidelines to protect companion animals during Covid.

And in another incident, somebody was killing pets in Thao Dien, Saigon’s expat hub. The residents of the government owned apartments demanded an investigation. It was found that the pets had been poisoned in a targeted manner.

An expert, Wayne Capriotti, on the country's pet industry and the founder of the magazine Me Thu Cung (Love Pets) confirmed that over the last five years companion animal ownership has increased dramatically. He puts it down to humanising pets. This is a good thing because it places companion animals at a much higher status; as family members which provides them with protection.

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