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Urban livestock keeping in Hanoi: policies, risks and benefits

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J Lindahl, LT Pham, TT Nguyen, F Jakobsen, HV Nguyen

Urbanization does not only mean that more people move to cities, they also bring a demand for more food, and particularly the growing middle-income classes desire animal products. The reason why people in cities keep livestock may vary; some have always kept animals and either bring them or obtain new in the cities. For others, it may be a way of securing extra incomes, either to meet the growing demands of the city or to sustain their own families. Urban livestock typically follow the trend of the region as a whole: in Kenya, ruminants predominates both in cities and in pastoral areas, whereas the upsurge of pig production in Vietnam means that pigs are also important in cities. This paper focuses on describing the urban livestock keeping in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Out of 30 districts in Hanoi city, 5 does not have any livestock reported at all, and these are the 5 districts with the highest human density, more than 20,000 humans per km2. The rest of the districts all have less than 10,000 humans per km2, but these districts may have as many as 1,600 pigs or 14,000 poultry per km2. There are increasing regulations prohibiting livestock keeping in the most central districts, which is reflected in the reporting, but this also causes a risk of that livestock in those districts are not reported. The trend of livestock farms is however not decreasing, and between 2014 and 2015, the number increased according to the Sub-Department of Animal Health (Sub-DAH) of Hanoi. While there is regular vector spraying in the city, there is no knowledge about how vector presence is affected by livestock keeping. Leptospira is recognized as an important zoonosis, but no rodent control is organized. Rabies is one of the priority diseases, and the Sub-DAH works on eradicating it in certain urban districts. However, extensive trade of dogs and other livestock make disease control difficult. In conclusion, urban livestock in Hanoi is there to stay and we need more data on its contribution to public health risks for effective management.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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