NAKHON PHANOM, Jan 12 – Thai Naval Authorities on Thursday rescued 800 live dogs from an illegal meat trading ring in this northeastern Thai province and a suspect apprehended while transporting the animals to the Lao PDR across the Mekong River.
Dogs shipped across the Mekong are generally destined for sale in Vietnam, where eating dog meat dishes is customary.
Capt Theerakiat Tongaram, chief of the Navy’s Mekong River naval patrol unit in Nakhon Phanom, and other naval personnel early Thursday intercepted a six-wheel truck n Ban Phaeng district which was carrying 40 cages crammed with 800 dogs.
The dogs were to be loaded on a boat to be sent across the river for transhipment to a neigbouring country to a meat trade syndicate on the other side of the Mekong River.
Preecha Uttasee, 37, suspected of smuggling the dogs, was detained for further investigation while other members of the smuggling ring were able to escape arrest.
The navy said the shipment of canines was presumed to be en route for sale in Laos and likely transhipment to Vietnam to satisfy exotic menu cravings for dog meat lovers.
Apart from the 800 dogs, the officers found 100 empty cages on the truck, indicating the high demand in the winter.
The dogs were transferred to the Nakhon Phanom Animal Quarantine Station for care.