A court in the central Nghe An Province has handed jail terms to four local men for stealing 14 dogs.
Following the trial Thursday, Nguyen Dinh Phong, 30, got 12 months for “property theft” and “illegal possession of military weapons.”
Vuong Van Hong, 36, got 24 months, Nguyen Dinh Quynh, 35, got seven months and Doan Chi Linh, 36, received a seven-month suspended sentence for “property theft.”
Phong and Quynh would attack dogs they found on the streets with homemade stun guns and contact Hong and Linh to hand over the animals.
Hong owns a shop selling dog meat at the Vinh Town wholesale market.
The group was caught while delivering a bunch of dogs at the market in July.
The police said they had 14 dogs and sold them for VND17 million (US$720).
At Hong’s residence, the police found a gun and five bullets owned by Phong.
Vietnam consumes an estimated five million dogs a year, second only to China’s 20 million, according to the Asia Canine Protection Alliance. Meat served at restaurants are often from pets stolen and sold to small, unregulated abattoirs.
Dog theft is rarely treated as a criminal offense in Vietnam. Only when a stolen animal is valued at more than VND2 million ($86) can it be dealt with as a crime under current laws.
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