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Vietnam hosts first Animal Welfare Conference

Vietnam hosts first Animal Welfare Conference
  • Vietnam hosts first Animal Welfare Conference
  • Vietnam hosts first Animal Welfare Conference
  • Vietnam hosts first Animal Welfare Conference
  • Vietnam hosts first Animal Welfare Conference

This month, Ho Chi Minh City hosted Vietnam's first Animal Welfare Conference – a pivotal step towards making animal welfare an important part of Vietnam's future.

Hosted by Yeu Dong Vat Organisation, Humane Society International, Karios Coalition and Animals Asia, the conference was an opportunity for representatives from animal welfare organisations throughout Vietnam to discuss farm animal, companion animal, and wildlife welfare issues.

Animals Asia's Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen spoke at the conference, later saying:

"Animal welfare in Vietnam is completely new, but people are starting – through events like this – to gain a stronger understanding of its principles and practices. It's a big step of course for a developing country like Vietnam where economic gains are prioritised ahead of animals' welfare needs. But attention towards animal welfare is increasing and this event was a big step forward."

Hot topics during the two-day conference were the dog meat trade, the lack of regulated abattoirs throughout the country and the dearth of animal welfare regulations for Vietnam's captive wildlife.

Le Duc Chinh, coordinator of the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) Vietnam expressed his concern over welfare in the dog meat trade. An estimated 5 million dogs are killed by the industry in Vietnam every year. ACPA claim that the animals are often caught using iron rods, and are then crammed into small cages for transport to restaurants.

Chinh said:

"Despite being a legal industry, the trade in dog meat is almost entirely unregulated. Millions of animals are smuggled into Vietnam from Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in appalling conditions."

The lack of best practice to protect the welfare of animals for human consumption was also raised in relation to farm animals. The country is believed to contain 28,500 small-scale slaughterhouses, mostly unregistered and operated by poorly trained staff.

Vi Thao Nguyen, co-founder of Yeu Dong Vat said:

"The definition of animal welfare is still strange and vague in Vietnam. Through this conference, I want to make the public understand that any animal, any creature, needs to be satisfied with its basic welfare. Even if it is raised for food, it doesn't deserve to suffer unnecessary pain."

Local media were quick to report on the conference with popular newspaper Tuoi Tre covering the event alongside local TV stations.

Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE, said:

"We've been very pleased by the overwhelmingly positive reaction the conference has received from participants and the media. Not only has this first step been hugely important in terms of networking and connecting the key players of Vietnamese animal welfare, it's also spread the concept to a whole new audience. We feel that despite its economic difficulties, Vietnam has a reached a threshold where it is ready to start dealing seriously with animal welfare in all aspects of society."

Article Animals Asia