CHIANGRAI TIMES – Almost 90 dogs have been rescued from being trafficked to Vietnam and turned into restaurant ingredients.
Civil volunteers in Ban Phaeng district yesterday seized two pickup trucks at Pho Sai village near the Mekong River and found them to be carrying fertiliser sacks containing a total of 120 dogs, 31 of which had suffocated.
The volunteers, who are members of a task force unit under the Ban Phaeng district office, apprehended the drivers of the two vehicles _ Issarapong Sankampai, 24, a native of Nakhon Phanom, and Vietnamese citizen Xern Nguyen Wan, 23 _ and took them to police for questioning.
The suspects allegedly admitted they had been hired by a gang to take the dogs across the Mekong River to Vietnam, where dog is a popular meat and is often served in restaurants.
Police charged them with not having animals’ vaccination records, trading animals without permission, relocating animals into areas at risk of rabies epidemic and torturing animals.
It was not known where the gang had collected the animals.
The 89 dogs saved by the unit have been sent to Nakhon Phanom Animal Quarantine Station.
Last month police arrested three men _ two Thais and a Vietnamese _ in Nakhon Phanom for allegedly illegally transporting almost 2,000 dogs to Vietnam to be butchered.