Hot! Thailand’s Dog Smuggling Trade

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The Global Mail has today released an alarming report claiming that Thai authorities are losing the battle to prevent dogs from being stolen and smuggled to northern Vietnam. It is estimated one million dogs are eaten there each year. It is thought approximately 200,000 dogs every year are being smuggled. It is believed that this trade has been undertaken for at least thirty years.

Smugglers pray on poor vulnerable people, enticing them to search rural areas and towns. In recent years owing to increased demand the smugglers have started to target family pet dogs in addition dogs living in Thai temples. Soi dogs are becoming more difficult to catch where as many family dogs live outside during the night.

Dogs are gathered across northeastern Thailand, before being taken to holding pens in the Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan provinces.

The inhumane conditions for the dogs during transport are impossible to contemplate. Open-sided trucks are filled with hundreds of dogs, starving and dehydrated, and piled on top of each other, injured with bite wounds and broken bones. Many die from suffocation and the injuries they sustain during transit.

Dog meat is considered a delicacy in Vietnam and it is believed that some feel it has aphrodisiac and other properties.

The maximum penalty in Thailand for the illegal export of animals is two years imprisonment and a 90,000 baht fine (about $3000 at May 2013 exchange rate), but activists report no one has yet to be jailed.

Like any other industry that produces a lucrative income the dog meat and skin trade continues to run a steady course. Thailand is trying to limit the stray population although a number of people in Thailand are fighting to stop the trade, but while dog meat remains a delicacy in Vietnam, the smugglers will continue.

Read the full story here.

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Thailand’s Dog Meat and Skin Trade

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