Thursday, 12 January 2012
Thailand Saves Hundreds of Dogs From Being Eaten
Thailand authorities say they have rescued more than 1,100 dogs on their way to be cooked and eaten in Vietnam.
Capt. Thirakiat Thongaram says a Thai navy patrol caught a gang of dog smugglers on the shore of the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province.
"Dogs are the third-biggest smuggling problem along the river after timber and drugs," he said.
the dogs were found in small, rusty cages on a truck near a ferry ready to take them across the river to Laos.
The dogs were saved from a truck by a courageous blogger, a 40-year-old volunteer of the association surnamed Peng, and had first been kept at an abandoned pig farm in the city.
Thongaram says the canines were to be transported through Laos to Vietnam, where dog meat is a delicacy. One Thai man was arrested on charges including illegal transportation of animals.
All the dogs were scheduled to go to the slaughterhouse for dinner tables.
"Dogs could not be taken good care of in the remote pig farm due to its limited space and insufficient food and water supply. So we moved them to the current building on Wednesday," said Chen Mingcai, head of the Chongqing Small Animal Protection Association said.
Hundreds of pet lovers and animal activists have offered help to the association.
Thanks to donations by pet lovers, dog food is sufficient for the next 20 to 30 days, he said.
"Now we urgently need more professional volunteers to come and take care of the dogs as many people are going home as the Chinese New Year is approaching," the volunteer surnamed Peng said.
Unfortunately, 16 dogs have died from severe injury or distemper. Another 30 seriously ill dogs were sent to a nearby hospital for further treatment.
"The association plans to rent another building to put other sick dogs under quarantine in the next few days to ensure most dogs can survive," Chen said.
Thai authorities rescued about 2,000 dogs headed for Vietnam in 2011.
Read more here.