VietNamNet Bridge – The four Southeast Asian countries – Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia – are considering issuing a 5-year ban on the transport of dogs for commercial purposes from one country to another in order to prevent the spread of rabies.




Transport of dogs. Photo: Asian Animal Organization.


The above recommendation was made in the context of trading dogs for meat is increasingly widespread in the region. According to experts, dog trafficking is directly related to the outbreak of diseases such as spiral worm, cholera and rabies. The World Health Organization recently made recommendations that dog trafficking is the agent for the outbreak of rabies in Indonesia and cholera in Vietnam.

Officials from the four countries also recommended assessing the risk of the relationship between the bulk transport of dogs and the spread of rabies and promoting the implementation of the current provisions on the illegal transport of dogs. Countries in the region also wanted international organizations to support them with technical, manpower and financial resources to consolidate the capabilities to eliminate rabies.

It is estimated that each year 5 million dogs are trafficked from Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia to Vietnam for meat. Dog meat product has developed form household-scale business to an industry worth millions of dollars in profits for the dog smugglers.

According to conservationists, the sale of dogs is hindering efforts to eliminate rabies because the transport of dogs can carry many sick dogs from one country to another.

"The rabies situation has become more serious - especially this year. One of the main reasons is smuggling of dogs across the border," said Ms. Nguyen Thu Thuy, Vice head of Vietnam's Department of Animal Health.

In Vietnam, nearly 90 people in Bac Son commune, Soc Son district, Hanoi, were recently bitten by dogs. Although no death was reported but it made local people worried. According to the description of the people of Soc Son, these were strange dogs which were tall, thin, short-haired, in yellow or light gray or ray and black. In particular, these dogs were very aggressive. They attacked anyone, anywhere.

The local authorities set up nine teams, each team consisting of more than 30 people to hunt and kill these dogs. They also constantly used loudspeakers to alert people of the strange dogs.

According to statistics of the Ministry of Health, in the period of 1991-2010, nearly 9 million people were suspected of being bitten by rabid dogs, including nearly 4,000 deaths.

Rabies usually concentrates in a few localities where the rates of vaccinated dogs are low. Some provinces like Tuyen Quang, Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Hanoi, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Binh Thuan has had rabies for five consecutive years.

Le Ha