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Monday, January 16, 2012

800 dogs saved from cooking pot

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:43 AM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Thai navy rescues the dogs which were destined for Vietnamese dinner tables.

Singapore, January 16, 2012

About 800 dogs were destined for Vietnamese dinner tables.

The animals were packed into small cages and were about to be loaded onto a ferry on the Mekong river in Thailand's Nakhon Phanom province when the Thai navy sprang into action.

The navy personnel rescued all the dogs, which were to be shipped via Laos.

One man was arrested, but other members of the gang ran away, Thai Navy Captain Theerakiart Thong-aram told AFP.

"Dogs are the third-biggest smuggling problem along the river after timber and drugs," he was quoted as saying.

Smuggling dogs to neighbouring countries has been a major trade in Thailand.

Bangkok Post reported that it was a tip-off that forced the navy to act and allowed the Mekong peace-keeping operation unit to intercept a group of smugglers.

Capt Theerakiart, commander of the unit operating in Nakhon Phanom, told the newspaper that they seized a six-wheeled lorry which had 40 cages crammed with dogs.

About 100 empty cages were also found on the river bank. They are believed to have been used to transport at least 2,000 dogs to Vietnam via Laos, after which they were taken back to Thailand.

They had not yet been collected, Capt Theerakiart said.

The spot where the 800 dogs were rescued is about 5km from the location where police rescued about 1,800 dogs from smugglers in August last year.


The 800 dogs will be taken to a shelter, where they will be monitored for possible communicable diseases for a period before being sent to various dog shelters, Capt Theerakiart told The Nation.

A well-informed source told the Bangkok daily that dog smugglers prefer that particular spot because it is the shortest route to Vietnam.

The source also said that smugglers have received large orders for dogs for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Dog meat is a delicacy in Vietnam.

This is the second recent interception of smugglers who were foiled in their attempt to take dogs.

On Dec 26 last year, about 300 dogs were rescued by a navy team on the banks of the Mekong river, resulting in the arrest of oneman.

On Sept 25 last year, the Nakhon Phanom Court sentenced five members of a dog-smuggling gang to eight months in prison each and fines ranging from 12,000 to 22,400 baht (S$490 to S$900).

But the penalties were halved after they confessed. On Aug 11 last year, smugglers were caught with 2,000 dogs.

The rescued dogs were housed at a quarantine centre, but only about 700 of them survived. The rest succumbed to injuries and disease.

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