Hanoi will form 579 squads to capture stray dogs and cats for rabies prevention and require official pet ownership declarations.
In accordance with a recently issued guideline for rabies prevention in the 2022-2030 period, the Hanoi People’s Committee requires people to declare ownership of dogs and cats to local authorities. They must also keep pets within the confines of their home, and pets must be on a leash and muzzled while going out, it added.
Pets must regularly be vaccinated against rabies, and pet owners will have to pay fees from their own pockets if their pets are captured or culled by authorities, and to compensate people if they are harmed by these pets.
Pets’ vaccination status must be updated at least twice a year by local People’s Committees. They must also prepare areas to keep captured pets. If no one comes for captured pets within 48 hours after announcements are made, their fates will be decided by authorities.
There must be at least one location in every district for rabies vaccination and immunoglobulin, and vulnerable members of the population, for example poor people, will receive support for preventative treatment against rabies.
If a rabies outbreak is detected, pet owners must report it to authorities and quarantine pets so they could be culled. Authorities are responsible for keeping dogs and cats within outbreak areas and culling those infected or suspected to be infected.
By 2030, Hanoi aims to manage over 90 percent of families with pets and to ensure rabies vaccination rates are at over 90 percent. There should be no more casualties due to rabies by 2030, it added.
Hanoi launched its first dog squad in Thanh Xuan District back in 2018, followed by Ba Dinh District in 2019, for rabies prevention.
The capital currently has around 421,000-493,000 dogs and cats. Many pet owners still let their pets go outside unmuzzled and unattended.
Owners of stray dogs could be fined up to VND800,000 ($35).
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