Authorities in Vietnam’s capital are urging residents to stop eating dog meat because it hurts the city’s image and improper raising of the animals could spread rabies.
For many Vietnamese, dog meat is a delicacy which is thought to increase stamina and is often on the menu at parties, especially in the north.
Restaurants specialising in barbecue dog are especially popular at the end of each lunar month when men dine on canine in hopes of purging bad luck.
Hanoi vice mayor Nguyen Van Suu said in a message on the city’s website slaughtering and consuming dog and cat meat is disturbing to foreigners and hurts the capital’s image.
He also instructed local governments to raise awareness of the risk of rabies when raising dog and cat meat.
The move is part of a national programme to stamp out rabies by 2021.
Officials say there are 493,000 dogs and cats in Hanoi, of which more than 10% are raised for commercial purposes.