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Hanoi considers geo-positioning chips on dogs

By Tat Dinh   December 23, 2018 | 12:33 am PT
Hanoi considers geo-positioning chips on dogs
Three dogs are seen at a park in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dinh
Hanoi is considering tagging dogs in the city with geographic postitioning chips to better manage them.

The project, devised by the city’s Animal Health Department in collaboration with two unnamed foreign NGOs, is expected to be proposed to the city’s administration next year for approval.

The chips, which would be tagged on each dog’s ears and collars, would contain information like the dog’s birth year, identification features and vaccination status. This data will be stored digitally for better management, said Nguyen Ngoc Son, head of the animal health department.

"It’s like how motorbikes have number plates on them," he explained.

The project would be funded by multiple sources.

The chips would also help reduce incidence of dog theft, which is rampant in Vietnam, Son added. Dog theft is rarely treated as a criminal offense in Vietnam, unless they are valued at more than VND2 million (approximately $100). But it almost always stirs public anger as most of the dogs stolen are pets and they would be slaughtered in brutal ways and served in restaurants.

In September, Hanoi recommended that citizens stop eating cats and dogs, saying such consumption creates a negative image of the city in the eyes of international tourists and expats.

"The city wants people to see the value in treating animals humanely," the municipal People’s Committee said in a statement, suggesting that it might impose a dog meat ban soon.

493,000 dogs are raised at houses in Hanoi, the highest among all cities in the country. 87 percent of them are kept as pets and for "housekeeping purposes," while the rest are bred to be sold or consumed as food.

The Vietnamese market consumes an estimated five million dogs per year, second only to China, which eats roughly 20 million.

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