Mob beats, hospitalizes suspected dog thief in central Vietnam

By VnExpress   September 15, 2016 | 11:45 am GMT+7
Mob beats, hospitalizes suspected dog thief in central Vietnam
The motorbike of two dog thieves in Nghe An Province is burned by angry mob September 14. Photo from Facebook

Around five million dogs, most of them stolen pets, are killed and eaten every year in Vietnam.

A mob in Nghe An Province sent a suspected dog thief to the hospital and burned his motorbike to cinders on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in Vinh, the provincial capital, where police say a group of locals began to chase two men riding a single motorbike after they came to believe the pair had entered their neighborhood to steal dogs.

One of the suspects managed to escape the angry citizens, who continued to beat his accomplice until police intervened and rushed him to hospital. Following their departure, the mob set fire to the pair's abandoned motorbike.

According to estimates developed by international NGOs lobbying against the dog meat trade, Vietnam consumes an estimated 5 million canines per year and is second only to China, which consumes roughly 20 million.

Many of the dogs Vietnam consumes are stolen pets sold to small, unregulated abattoirs.

Dog thieves rarely suffer official repercussions in the form of a fine. The people who buy and sell stolen meat almost never get punished.

Vietnamese law only treats theft as a criminal offense if the object stolen exceeds VND2 million, around $100. Due to rising pressure both inside and outside the country, Vietnam's National Assembly is considering a provision that would specifically criminalize the theft of a household pet.

Vigilante mobs often justify their actions (which sometimes prove fatal) to the lack of legal repercussions for the crime.

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