CHIANG RAI – Police Chief Police Maj Gen Weerawut Niannoi, has reported two men have been arrested and given a suspended jail term, they were also fined Bt8,000 each for killing their dog and posted its picture on Facebook.
The two brothers were sentenced under the new animal welfare law in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai after an image of a man skinning a dead dog was posted on Facebook.
Police were alerted to the posting by Soi Dog’s full time investigation unit, Watchdog Thailand. Investigations led to a famous bike shop in the area, run by Veerachai Wongsa, the former owner of the dog.
Under questioning by authorities, Veerachai admitted giving the dog to his brother, Kraitong Wongsa, to be killed for consumption.
Chiang Rai Police chief Police Maj Gen Weerawut Niannoi said, the two had violated Article 20 of the New Animal Welfare Law, which states it is illegal to commit or to allow others to commit an act of animal cruelty. Verachai was arrested and charged under Article 20.
MrKraitong was subsequently arrested, and admitted to the crime of killing the dog by inflicting a heavy blow to its head. He was also charged under Article 20.
Both Veerachai and Kraitongwere sentenced to one year in jail, under probation, and fined Bt8,000 each.
John Dalley, co-founder and vice president of Soi Dog Foundation, Thailand’s leading dog and cat welfare charity, cautiously welcomed the verdict.
“Whilst welcoming the verdict, we are concerned that the courts are not yet punishing offenders to the extent the law allows. [2 years in prison and 40,000thb fine]. The main purpose of sentences is to act as a deterrent. If people understand that an action will lead to a prison sentence they will be far less likely to commit the offence. The courts currently have the opportunity to show that the Thai people will not tolerate cruelty to any living creature,” Dalley said.
Thailand’s first Animal Welfare Law came into effect on December 27h 2014, following extensive lobbying by Soi Dog Foundation and other animal welfare organisations.
The Soi Dog Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2003, is a legally registered charity in Thailand, the United States, Australia, the UK, France and Holland. Our mission statement is to improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities, to create a society without homeless animals, and to ultimately end animal cruelty. John Dalley, co-founder and vice president, is available for interview.