Changing practice of raising animals beneath stilt house floor of ethnic minority families


Raising cattle and poultry under stilt house floor have been practiced as a long tradition for ethnic minority households in mountain areas, e.g., in provinces of Sơn La, Hà Giang, Cao Bằng, Nghệ An, and Central Highlands. Although it is convenient for families to manage and care for animals, this practice can cause environmental pollution and negatively impact the health of the family. Specifically, animals and their waste can introduce disease into the human living environment.

A family of Khơ Mú ethnic minority in Nhãn Cù village, Tà Ca, Ký Sơn, Nghệ An province raises cattle beneath their stilt house floor. Photo: Đào Thọ. Source:

Vietnam has conducted many programs to promote the relocation of animal farming in this space to other places further from home. For many communities, this activity is one of the environmental criteria for the recognition of new rural villages or development. For example, since 2020, the Woman Union of Ít Ong town in Mường La district of Sơn La province has implemented the Program “Đưa ra súc ra khỏi gầm sàn tại tiểu khu Ít Bon” (Relocation of animals from space beneath stilt house floor in Ít Bon). The Woman Union coordinated with the Management Board of Ít Bon area, where 125 Thái ethnic minority households live, to establish the Program Implementation Club. The Club explains, raises awareness of the residents about the program, and encourages them to relocate the animals. As a result, 66 households committed to following the program. Of which, 55 households have moved animals out of their house floor. The Club also supported two families to construct cattle barns with 2.5 million VNĐ for each family.

A family of Thái ethnic minority in Ít Bon area, Mường La, Sơn La province received support from the Program “Relocation of animals from space beneath stilt house floor in Ít Bon” to relocate and construct cattle barn far from home. Photo & Source:

Thanks to this program, the living environment of many households has been improved in terms of no odor pollution and cleanliness.

Sources & further information: “Ấn tượng với mô hình Đưa gia súc ra khỏi gầm sàn ở Ít Ong (Sơn La)” at, “Figures on ethnic minority women and men in Vietnam in 2015” at, “Thói quen nuôi lợn, bò dưới nhà sàn của người vùng cao Nghệ An” at, “Sống chung” với ô nhiễm at, accessed on 27 September 2021.