Vietnam drawing competition draws attention to bloody animal festivals

13 November 2019

On the 28th of October, an awards ceremony was held at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre. The prizes were for a drawing competition to raise awareness about animal welfare and cruel animal festivals. There were lots of great entries and picking the winners was a challenging task for the judges.

Fortunately, we had the help of some talented and experienced judges including professors from the Vietnam University of Fine Arts, well known illustrators La Studio from Ho Chi Minh city, as well as our Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale.

First prize went to Cam Anh Ng for a powerful piece that closely focuses on a pig used in a pig slaughter festival. The judges were impressed by the powerful composition and use of colour.

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On winning, Cam Anh Ng said:

“It is a nice surprise to find out that I won this competition. With this drawing, the key message I want to give is that animals suffer in the same way that humans do when they bleed. I really hope people will understand that animals need to be treated better to avoid such cruelty.”

The runner-up prize was a very accomplished piece by Nguyen Kieu My, illustrating the affection between a young person and a buffalo.

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Nguyen Kieu My said:

“This drawing was inspired by my memory of an animal friend from when I was very young. Then one day it broke my heart when I found out that he had been brought to a festival and I was told that he was never coming back. I think human beings can have close contact with animals who should be friends instead of being a tool for entertainment. If you don’t want your friends to suffer, why do you torture them? With this drawing, I hope people will remember their relationships with animals and stop being cruel to them!”

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Animals Asia’s Vietnam Animal Welfare Manager Nguyen Tam Thanh said:

“This year’s competition featured a wide range of artists from all walks of life. The judges based their decisions on content, layout, color, and key messages that can raise critical thinking. 

“Hopefully through this competition and the media coverage in Vietnam, lots of people will learn more about animal welfare, not only with regard to that of animals in festivals but also in tourism and in our daily life. With this greater awareness, I hope they will speak for the animals and help build a better world for the future. People are turning against these bloody festivals which use ‘tradition’ as a cover to justify animal abuse. For example, an online survey on shows 79% of people surveyed said that they want those traditions to end forever.”

Prints of the winning works will be sent to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the People's Committees of Hai Phong, Vinh Phuc, and Bac Ninh where buffalo fighting and pig slaughter festivals are held.