Irish Times Reviews “Vietnam’s Dogsnatchers” describes it as “grimly riveting TV”
Dognapping is such a serious problem that vigilantes have beaten 20 dognappers to death in the past five years. That’s in Vietnam, where the dogs are sold to be eaten. In Unreported World: Vietnam’s Dog Snatchers (Channel 4, Friday), the owner of one of the many dog-meat stalls in Hanoi is shown as she is about to kill and skin the first of the 30 dogs she’ll turn into cutlets before the morning is out. (The bloody action is, thankfully, offscreen.)
The dogs, bought from traders no questions asked, are kept in a pit beneath her shop-cum-abattoir. A teenager arrives with the family pet to ask if she’ll butcher it, as the family fancy having him for dinner.
Even if you’re not a dog lover it’s barbaric: not the idea of eating dogs, which the film rightly accepts is part of the culture, but the cruelty of the dogs’ being killed without any regulation and after being stolen in raids in outlying villages.
Presented by Nelufar Hedayat, a young reporter, this is a typical film for Unreported World – one of Channel 4’s most worthwhile strands – dealing vividly, in a calm, unsensational way, with a difficult subject that’s not big on the news radar but is horribly fascinating nonetheless.