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Hanoi dog slaughtering village gets new face

A village in Hanoi’s suburbs which has a long-standing tradition of dog slaughtering has dramatically changed following moves by municipal authorities to tighten control over dog meat trading.
Cao Xa Village in Duc Giang Commune, Hoai Duc District, is among the largest dog slaughter places in the north.

Dogs kept in Cao Xa Village to be slaughtered for meat
Dogs kept in Cao Xa Village to be slaughtered for meat

Local resident Nguyen Huy Hoa said most dog slaughterhouses and rice vermicelli producers are located in Cao Xa Ha. During the 1990s and early the 2000s, Cao Xa Ha was home to hundreds of households which specialised in dog butchery. The product outlets were mainly markets and restaurants in Hanoi.

Trinh Van Tuat, head of Cao Xa Village, said that dog butchery in Cao Xa had existed for over the past 100 years, but it started developing in the 1960s when some local households did financially well out of the business and gradually more villagers learned from their experience.

Hundreds of dogs were killed on the occasion before every Lunar New Year. Local slaughterers even had their own teams to procure dogs across the country and even in neighbouring countries.

Villagers have been familiar with the never-ending sound of dogs.

Over the past three years, owners of local dog slaughterhouses have tended to hire other people for VND300,000 – 400,000 per day to kill dogs, instead of doing the killing themselves. Many parents have made their children do other kinds of jobs.

Nguyen Danh Thang, chairman of Duc Giang Commune People’s Committee, said that to date, only 10 local households still slaughtered dogs. The sharp decrease is partially due to a drop in dogs supplied from Thailand, Laos and Cambodia which have banned live animal exports, including dogs. Many families have also turned into other kinds of jobs such as selling farm produce.

Demand has also declined over recent years as many people have gone off the idea of eating dogs.

Hanoi authorities even recently issued a statement to call on residents to ease off eating dog meat.

“We are drafting a plan to gradually phase out the slaughtering and trading of dog meat. By 2021 there will be no dog meat restaurants in the city centre,” claimed director of the city’s Department of Animal Health, Nguyen Ngoc Son.