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Pattaya Daily News

04 December 2009 :: 12:12:30 pm 31192

Exposing North-Eastern Thailand’s Illegal Dog Meat Trade

A recent investigation by foreign journalists has uncovered the gruesome dog meat trade that flourishes in North Eastern Thailand, specifically in the village of Ta Rae, Nakhon Phanom.
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Thailand, the 4th of December 2009 [Pattaya Daily News]: A recent report uncovered the illegal trafficking of dog meat from Thailand to Vietnam, where the price of the meat has exceeded that of pork and is considered somewhat of a delicacy by locals. Due to alleged corrupt politicians and police officers the trade has been allowed to continue for generations with everyone benefiting from the profitable trafficking. The illegal business provides workers with a better income and way off life than if they were to be rice farmers like many other inhabitants of North Eastern Thailand.

Due to such a prevalence of stray dogs in Thailand (similar to the Kangaroo situation in outback Australian), coupled with the demand for the meat in Vietnam, the illegal trade has become very lucrative for some enterprising villagers. The locals have taken to trapping, killing and butchering the stray dogs before selling them to the Vietnam. The profitable trade nets a big return for the poor farmers of the area and allegedly the corrupt government officials.

In the small majority Catholic village of Ta Rae in the majority Buddhist Thailand have become dependant on the underground market for dog meat, with many quitting the farming life entirely in order to catch and butcher stray dogs. Local farmers are eager to be rid of the stray dogs as they a considered somewhat of a pest due to their propensity to eat the farmer?s chickens. The villagers – once the dogs are butchered?- sell the prepared meat to Vietnamese distributors for US$10 a dog.

A Nakhon Phanom parliament representative, Mr Phumpat Pachonsap, explained that corruption within the local government has allowed the illegal trade to continue, becoming more prevalent than ever. Mr Pachonsap stated that “The exporting of dogs, it’s a mafia. It’s a big network involving lower-level politicians up to high-level politicians. There’s a huge profit. The benefit is huge. The profit is huge. Even the police are getting money out of it.”

On the other side of the story, a local villager who is involved in the dog catching trade, Mr Wit (who wishes to remain anonymous) explained “I’ve never stopped to ask if this is wrong, it’s a way of life, passed down from the older generations. This is what my family has taught me.”

Note: There is always two sides to a coin, in the midst of poverty in the region locals have looked to find a better way to provide for their families, illegal or otherwise the trade is giving some locals the chance of a better life. Will something be done about the alleged corruption Who knows, but lets just hope that when this illegal market is finally stopped, the government of the province does not leave it’s citizens high and dry with no way to survive.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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