Another cruel festival halted in Vietnam following public outcry

08 February 2017

An “animal welfare awakening” in Vietnam puts an end to buffalo hanging cruelty as part of a Lunar New Year festival.

A Lunar New Year festival in which a live buffalo is hung has been ended in Vietnam after angry netizens vented their fury and politicians acted.

Footage of last year’s Dong Cuong New Year festival went viral in Vietnam this week. Shocked internet users were adamant that scenes of a live buffalo being hung from the neck until death seen in the footage cannot be allowed to take place again.

Thankfully, the central and local authorities are in agreement and have ordered organisers not to allow such animal cruelty to taint the village’s Lunar New Year celebrations.

However, as with the Nem Thuong event, the animal will still be killed and eaten, but this will take place in private and in line with local regulations on the slaughter of animals for consumption.

Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said:

“In the wake of Animals Asia’s campaign against the Nem Thuong pig slaughter festival, the Vietnamese government made it very clear that such activities would not be allowed to be part of the modern Vietnam. They are following through on that promise and representing the will of the people to put an end to such activities. They should be applauded for that. What we are seeing here is nothing short of an animal welfare awakening in Vietnam.”

Following Animals Asia’s campaign against the Nem Thuong pig slaughter festival, which began in 2014, the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism has ordered all “out-dated” and “uncivilised” festivals to end.

To date, this order has seen four so-called “buffalo stabbing” and three buffalo fighting festivals ended while the ritual chopping of two pigs at Nem Thuong no longer takes place publicly.

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Officer Nguyen Tam Thanh said:

“As with the buffalo stabbing or fighting festivals and the pig slaughter festival, the Dong Cuong event highlights that abuse of animals is no longer being tolerated by the wider public or the authorities.

“It’ll take some time for these out-dated customs to die out completely – some conservatives may resist change – but make no mistake, our children will not grow up with animal cruelty as a part of New Year celebrations and that is something everyone will celebrate.”