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Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue

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Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue is part of a non-speciesist movement to abolish the use of animals for human purposes including entertainment, food, clothes, and research.  The foundation for our work is built on the long-term strategic plan to end the exploitation of all species and to this end, we work here in Hoi An, Vietnam in for education of veterinarians, animal welfare organizations, animal health department officials, and schoolchildren.  We work to build the capacity of the local animal welfare groups who can and will make a difference in the way that the animal rights movement takes off in Vietnam. 

VAAR looks forward to the day when animal rights and human rights are not identified as separate philosophies, but as two identical concepts that are inalienable to all species, protected by law, and enforced by all members of society. We believe in the power of individuals to create change and we believe that compassion is a trait that is, without a doubt, a feeling that all humans have the capability of accessing and acting on. Compassion is the basis for the animal rights movement and this is our founding principle.  

The Hoi An Veterinary Training Clinic in central Vietnam opened unofficially in December 2014, and now officially in January 2016 with the mission to build veterinary capacity in Vietnam. Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue is the nonprofit that manages the vet training clinic as well as the rescue shelter and education center. During the summer of 2016, we are opening a farm sanctuary that will house cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, and goats as well as an education center on farm animal welfare. 
Our mission with the veterinary community comes from our very frustrating experiences with local vets in Vietnam who have not had the training to teach them the basics of the science behind their profession.  Veterinary medicine in Vietnam is in a poor state and university training is limited.  Students do not have access to qualified veterinarian professors, well-equiped clinics from which to understand good clinical practices, or experiential components that helps them identify positive animal welfare practices in action.

 Sedation is often not used properly, if at all, and pain management is simply nonexistent.  Diagnostics are little better than a shot in the dark and are often completely nonsensical.  Sterilization is not even recommended by locally trained vets and if they do perform the surgery, many patients die.  Isolation procedure of diseased animals is misunderstood, information about pet nutrition is nonexistent, and sterilization of surgical instruments is almost never practiced.  Vaccination protocol is not taught well and is rarely practiced effectively.  

It is a sad state of affairs, but it is far from being beyond hope. Many vets, especially the younger students, do truly love animals and want to be able to take care of them as best as they can for the animals' sake, not for the owners'.  The university system at present does not include this mentality in their curriculum, however, and continues to focus on training to care for livestock in intensive farming operations that are popping up all over Vietnam now.  Students are thus being taught to look at animals as a profit-making machines to be kept alive by whatever means necessary until it can turn into money by the industry.  The other track at universities is for pharmacology, but this focuses on the abuse of antibiotics in livestock production, not on the development and proper use of treatments to improve the welfare for animals in Vietnam.  

The purpose of the Hoi An Veterinary Training Clinic is to ensure that Vietnamese vets are able to gain the skills to be effective practitioners of positive animal welfare through training programs with the universities, local vets, and recently graduated interns.  We do this with our volunteer vets and vet nurses who have trained in high standard universities in the West and are experienced in working with rescue and training staff in the developing world.  

In addition to training, we treat animals in central Vietnam at our clinic regardless of the owners ability to pay, run mobile clinics to needy areas of Vietnam, and provide sterilzation and vet care to local rescues.  We manage a rescue shelter and education center that was previously under the Vietnam Animal Welfare Organization name before the split of that organization.  The shelter houses over 50 animals (a combination of cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, and a pig).  We hold education programs there for children, animal welfare groups, and vets.  

While we began under the name of Vietnam Animal Welfare Organisation 3 years ago, we are continuing the work of assisting animals in need, but are transitioning to the new name that more accurately reflects our main mission and our new legally registered vet consulting business in Vietnam. 

Please help us to continue to build up the capacity of Vietnamese vets and to teach the principles of animal welfare in veterinary medicine to those who will be the practitioners of the future and the leaders in the animal rights movement in Vietnam.


Catherine Amie Besch
Mobile, AL

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