Dogs vs. boar deathmatch in Hanoi sparks outrage on social media

By Pham Huong   March 20, 2018 | 09:36 pm PT
Dogs vs. boar deathmatch in Hanoi sparks outrage on social media
A screen capture of a online video shows dogs maul a boar during a fight cheered on in Hanoi on Sunday.
The event was caught on camera and shows several fighting dogs ganging up on a lone boar.

A video showing several dogs attacking a boar as dozens of people watch on has been circulating on social media and receiving heavy criticism from animal activists and netizens alike.

The fight was organized by a group of Argentine mastiff enthusiasts in an empty field in the southwest of Hanoi last Sunday. The video shows a single boar released from a cage and a pack of mastiffs mauling the animal, cheered on by their owners and watchers. As the boar’s squeals eventually subside, all that is left is a bloody mess.

The graphic footage has invoked wrath and revulsion from viewers on social media. Vu Ngoc Thanh, an animal expert, said the event was “barbaric and uncivilized.”

“Where is the humanity in this?” he said.

Nguyen Tam Thanh, an animal welfare officer from Animals Asia, said the fight was a display of violence to satisfy instinctual, cardinal desires, and such a thing has no place in civilized society.

“This is intentional animal abuse, and should this case be overlooked, it will certainly create a precedent for future cases,” he said.

Local police said the fight had been spontaneous and was not sanctioned by the law. Authorities are investigating the case to find those responsible for the event, Vietnam Television reported.

Animal rights issues have become a hot topic in Vietnam over the years. Buffalo fighting festivals originate from the country’s agricultural traditions, but in recent years, they have encountered strong public opposition due to what many perceive to be barbaric.

The debate reached new heights in 2017, when a 47-year-old man was killed by his own buffalo at a festival in the northern port city of Hai Phong, further strengthening the case for a ban on buffalo fighting festivals. However, after a temporary suspension, the festival was resumed the same year.

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