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Vietnamese ministry requests local authorities to establish teams to catch stray dogs

Vietnamese ministry requests local authorities to establish teams to catch stray dogs

Tuesday, August 02, 2022, 11:31 GMT+7
Vietnamese ministry requests local authorities to establish teams to catch stray dogs
An owner strokes a pit bull dog in Vietnam. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has requested cities and provinces nationwide to set up teams to catch unbridled dogs to prevent cases in which canines bite people to death, said Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien.

At a regular press briefing on Monday, answering a question about limiting or banning the raising of vicious dog breeds, Tien stressed that all legal documents for the veterinary sector include the regulation that dogs have to be muzzled, chained, and kept by a person if they are taken to public places.

However, there have still been cases in which dogs bite people to death recently. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked localities to strictly comply with regulations on raising dogs.

“Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have established teams to catch stray dogs,” Deputy Minister Tien said.

“The ministry directed other localities to imitate the solution of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to strictly comply with the law.

“In addition, localities must seriously deal with administrative violations as prescribed in the Laws on Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry to minimize the consequences of or prevent fatal dog attacks.”

For the suggestion of naming some vicious dogs to limit the raising thereof, Tien said that there are hundreds of kinds of dogs so it is difficult to list all of them in legal documents. 

“Dogs must wear muzzles to be taken to public places. If so, everyone’s safety will be ensured,” Tien added.

Nguyen Van Long, acting director of the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that in accordance with the ministry’s Circular 07/2016 on the prevention of diseases to terrestrial species, owners of pets, such as dogs and cats, must register their activities with the people’s committees of communes which are densely populated.

They must also chain or keep dogs in their house area, ensure public hygiene, and avoid annoying surrounding people.

Under the national program for the prevention and control of rabies in the 2022-30 period, owners of dogs and cats must be committed to keeping their pets within their houses. If their dogs and cats bite people, they have to pay relevant fees in line with the law.

Early this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development continued directing localities to instruct households raising dogs and cats to strictly comply with the regulations on the declaration and raising of pets.

“Thus, specific regulations have been worked out and stated in legal documents,” Long emphasized.

“The key task now is the local-level implementation of these regulations.

“Grassroots-level authorities must seriously assess their achievements and failures in the management of dogs and the prevention and control of rabies to come up with appropriate solutions.”

According to Long, it is necessary to launch awareness campaigns so that dog owners will bear responsibility for seriously complying with the regulations on the management of dogs and not allowing their pets to roam the streets. 

Dogs must be put into cages, be chained, and wear muzzles, especially large and vicious dogs, such as pit bulls, he said.

Criminal charges may be applied

Pursuant to Government Decree 90/2017 on penalties for administrative violations in the veterinary sector and Decree 4-2020 amending some articles of Decree 90/2017, owners of dogs that bite people will be fined VND1-2 million (US$43-86) each if their canines do not wear muzzles or are not chained, Long said.

Relevant agencies can use Article 603 (compensation for damage caused by animals) of the Civil Code and Article 295 (violations against the regulations on labor safety and hygiene and safety in crowded places) of the Penal Code to impose appropriate punishments. 

Over the past few months, many people, especially children, have been attacked by dogs, according to local media reports.

In particular, an eight-year-old boy in southern Binh Phuoc Province was bitten to death by a 30-kilogram pit bull on July 22.

While the boy was playing alone at the back of his grandmother’s house, the pit bull repeatedly mauled his hands and neck.

Despite being taken to a hospital quickly, the boy died from critical injuries.

Moreover, a three-year-old boy in Nghe An was attacked by a seven-kilogram dog.

The dog bit his head, face and ears, while he and his mother were walking on a street.

The boy was later hospitalized for injury treatment.

In early June, three children in Quang Nam were also bitten by a dog and one of them, a four-year-old boy, died several hours after the attack.

Last year, more than 524,000 people were attacked by dogs and cats, and 54 of them died of rabies, Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper quoted as Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, an official from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, as saying.

In the first half of this year, 30 out of the over 300,000 people bitten by dogs and cats died.

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Thanh Ha - Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre News

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