The Hanoi city government called on Tuesday for citizens to stop eating cats and dogs…

Consuming them spreads infectious diseases, such as rabies, while also offending tourists from countries where eating dogs and cats is taboo, the vice mayor’s office said.

Around 493,000 dogs and cats are in the Vietnam’s capital city. Some 87.5 per cent are kept as pets and the rest used for “other purposes,” namely for their meat, according to city statistics.

Dog and cat meat is considered a delicacy by some Vietnamese, although others have shunned the practice as house pets become increasingly popular among the growing middle class.

“Slaughtering and using dog and cat meat has created objections among tourists and international visitors living in Hanoi, affecting the image of a civilized capital,” said a directive issued by Hanoi Vice Mayor Nguyen Van Suu.

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Three people died this year from rabies, possibly transmitted via meat, the official said.

“People need … to abandon the habit of using dog and cat meat,” the document said.

Author: ANA Newswire