Regulatory Research And Stakeholder Engagement Planning

The Challenge

Founded in 1988, Four Paws is an international animal welfare organization that works to protect animals under human influence, such as companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. Pioneer has been working with Four Paws to raise awareness of dog and cat meat-related issues among the Vietnamese target groups aged 16-30 since 2019.

After launching several successful communication campaigns in Vietnam, Four Paws realized that regulatory changes must be made to sustain the efforts to end DCMT.

The Solution

To address this, Pioneer proposed research on Vietnam’s regulatory landscape concerning the dog and cat meat trade (DCMT) in Vietnam to detect current shortcomings and potential gaps. In addition, the research aimed to understand the perspectives of these stakeholders on the trade and identify the regulatory challenges and opportunities for advocacy. The research was conducted over a period of 4 months and involved a combination of desk research, legislation review, and interviews with the most relevant stakeholders including government officials, NGOs, academia, and private sector stakeholders.

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The Findings

The research found that there were currently no regulations in place to explicitly outlaw the dog and cat meat trade in Vietnam, which poses a significant challenge to animal health control, food safety law enforcement, and the national rabies eradication program, a government health priority. The stakeholder interviews revealed a need for more awareness among politicians and political will to end the trade. The research identified opportunities for advocacy, such as engaging with high-power relevant stakeholders and influencers from the government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector to advocate for phasing out DCMT.

The Recommendations

The report’s recommendations are sound and comprehensive, proposing a three-component strategy to phase out DCMT. The strategy involves amending the current Law on Livestock and related legislation to categorize dogs and cats as companion animals and prohibit their maltreatment, replicating success stories, such as the successful closure of the dog meat restaurant in Thai Binh in 2021, in other parts of Vietnam and leveraging Hoi An’s commitment to becoming a DCMT-free city to engage with authorities in other tourist destinations.

Overall, the report provides a clear and actionable plan for Four Paws to pursue regulatory changes and advocate for ending the dog and cat meat trade in Vietnam. Pioneer’s research and stakeholder engagement planning has proven invaluable in identifying the existing limitations and potential gaps in Vietnam’s regulatory landscape concerning DCMT.

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