Hanoi to pick up stray dogs for rabies prevention
The dogs will be fed and taken care of after that.
Hanoi will launch around 600 units in its 12 metropolitan districts by 2023 to catch homeless dogs and cats for rabies prevention and require pet ownership declarations, according to the municipal People's Committee.
Vice-Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen has just signed a guideline for rabies prevention in the 2022-2030 period according to which dog owners are asked to declare their ownership.
Quyen said dog catching units are among measures to create safe zones in the city for rabies prevention, adding that the move is aimed mainly at informing pet owners about current regulations, fining owners who let their pets go out unattended, and preventing dog bites.
A unit is catching a homeless dog in Khuong Dinh Ward, Thanh Xuan District of Hanoi. Photo: Le Khanh
There would be six to eight catchers in each unit, including militia members, veterinarians and police officers. They will operate once or twice a week under an irregular schedule with the task of detecting pets going out without muzzles and leashes, urinating and defecating in public places, and attacking people, Quyen added.
The vice-chairman said Hanoi currently has nearly 500,000 dogs and cats, stressing that many pet owners leave their pets outdoor unsupervised.
"Some people raise large dogs of up to 40 kilograms and it could be dangerous to those who try to capture them. There are also dogs that cost tens of millions of Vietnamese dong, so containing them is a challenge as they’re considered personal properties of big value," Quyen added.
"The dogs will be fed and taken care of after that," he said.
The vice-chairman asked the city’s animal health sub-department to consult with local authorities to work out a remuneration scheme for dog catchers.
"This job requires specific skill sets, which means training. If there are no appropriate policies, it will be hard to build an effective, professional dog catching unit," Quyen said.
Nguyen Ngoc Son, head of the Hanoi Sub-department of Animal Health, said that local residents must keep pets indoors, and pets must be on a leash and muzzled when going out.
"Pets must regularly be vaccinated against rabies and pets' vaccination status must be updated at least twice a year by local People's Committees," Son added.
He noted that there must be at least one location in every district for rabies vaccination and immunoglobulin test, and vulnerable people will receive support for preventative treatment against rabies.
If a rabies outbreak is detected, owners must report to their authorities for quarantining and culling the infected pets. Authorities are responsible for keeping dogs and cats within outbreak areas and culling those infected or suspected of catching rabies.
The municipal People's Committee has set a goal for Hanoi to supervise more than 90% of pet-owning households, ensure that rabies vaccination rates are above 90% and that there are no more rabies victims by 2030.
Hanoi launched its first dog catching unit in Thanh Xuan District back in 2018, then in Ba Dinh District in 2019, for rabies prevention.
Four downtown districts, including Hoan Kiem, Dong Da, Ba Dinh, and Thanh Xuan, have already launched dog catching units in their wards. Dog catching units will be organized in the other eight inner districts by 2023.
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