Animals Asia pig slaughter campaign ends buffalo stabbing festival

26 February 2016

A campaign to end a pig slaughter festival in Vietnam has prompted so much debate that Dak Lak province has ended its own cruel festival. 

Thirty thousand animal lovers signed a petition to Nem Thuong local authorities asking them to end the pig slaughter festival that takes place in Vietnam each Lunar New Year. 

But while the campaign also prompted condemnation by senior politicians including the Prime Minister and the Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism and saw 79 per cent of Vietnamese vote against it in a media poll - local authorities pressed ahead with the festival with two pigs being killed earlier this month.

However the wider debate prompted by the campaign and the strong condemnation from the government has been widely noted. 

In a direct response -  Dak Lak Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands is giving up its centuries-old “buffalo stabbing” ritual this year as officials say they do not want spring festivals to send a message of brutality.  

Quoted in Vietnam’s Thanh Nien newspaper, Ta Van Hop, a spokesman for Buon Don District, where a festival of ethnic culture will be held next month, said:  

“Everyone has agreed to get rid of this ritual.” 

Meanwhile BBC Vietnam reports (translated from Vietnamese): 

“Animal welfare charity Animals Asia called to stop the pig slaughter festival because they believe this is animal cruelty.. 

...After that, many other festivals have been criticised for animal torturing which is not supported by people."

Animals Asia Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said: 

“Open, informed animal welfare debate saves animal lives. Choosing to oppose the cruelty within the Nem Thuong festival was always about more than the two pigs that were to be slaughtered. This was about asking people to think about how we use animals for entertainment. Sometimes that ends in their cruel death - other times, as with animal circuses, it means living a life of miserable cruelty.  

“Usually you can’t see the animals saved by debate because the change comes from individuals and how they live their lives. How we live is a matter of habit - often with little or no thought to our impact. Tradition is an extension of that. It’s okay to think again and to make change - in fact it’s vital.

“We are indebted to Buon Don district and Dak Lak province for their humanity and being open to change and progress. As animal lovers we send our thanks.”

Take Action:

  1. Add your voice to our petition to end the pig slaughter at the Nem Thuong Festival
  2. Sign and say no a dolphinarium in Danang, Vietnam
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