Owning dogs as pets is becoming more popular in Vietnam, a country with a global reputation for eating dog meat, says a Reuters report.
Vietnamese who buy expensive breeds such as poodles and Chihuahuas make a clear distinction between the dogs they raise as pets and those they eat in restaurants.
An increasing number of the wealthy are buying fashionable breeds as status symbols or as guard dogs for their homes.
A recent dog show in Hanoi featured 300 pampered pooches, and the winner was a local Phu Quoc ridgeback named Ven, who won out over 50 well-trained and groomed foreign breeds.
Nguyen Bao Sinh is a pet resort owner offers services to meet the rising demand of people who want to treat their dogs like humans.
He says eating dogs was understandable in the days of poverty and food shortages, but not now.
“Vietnamese have enough food and higher living standards, so eating dog meat should be considered brutal,” he said.
But not everyone feels this way, and many people do not look upon dogs as man’s best friend.
A dealer in Cao Xa, just outside Hanoi, told Reuters his village receives a two-tonne truck of live dogs every third day for sale as meat.
French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has criticized Thailand for its role in the trade, writing an open letter to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to end a practice in which 100,000 dogs are killed every year and even more transported in horrible conditions before being brutally slaughtered and eaten in Vietnam.
But eating dog meat has a long history in Vietnam, and is still popular, partly because of the belief that eating it brings good fortune.
One high school student at a dog meat restaurant in Hanoi said he wanted to gain some good luck, as he’ll be taking his university entrance exams soon. Image/vietnambreakingnews.com