Monday, August 31, 2009

Dogs Are Being Grilled

Photo Courtesy of Khaosod

AYUDTHAYA – Local Thais have had enough with Cambodian laborers who have hunted dogs for their barbeque dinners. Villagers have seen them chase dogs with long knives, slashing at them from behind. The lucky ones have been saved by people who have informed the city’s animal rescue team. Others haven’t been so lucky, like the dog in the photo above, now paralyzed after sustaining spinal chord damage.

Villagers reveal that Cambodians in labor camps have been hunting dogs and grilling them like Peking ducks without thinking about how Thai people feel about it. In stark contrast to these dog eaters, there was an incident in Surin, another city, where a clothing store caught on fire and a dog was left inside - the owner went back in the store and was burnt alive with the dog.

On August 28th, a reporter was informed that Mr. Thiti Homthaet, 34-years-old, a member of Ayudthaya’s rescue team, saved a Thai-breed dog from being hunted down. The dog was slashed by Cambodians before being sent to a nearby vet. The dog was male, a Thai breed, and 2-3 years-old, with a light brown coat. He weighed around 15 kilograms and groaned in pain from the 15 cm deep wound near its tail. The dog’s spinal chord had been severed at the rear.

Mr. Thiti revealed that the night of August 26th, on the side of Ayudthaya-Nakorn Luang road, villagers witnessed several Cambodian workers holding long knives, chasing the dog. The dog ran into a bush on the side of the road, and luckily, heavy rain poured down and the dog hunters retreated. On the afternoon of August 27th, people reported seeing the dog lying in the mud on the roadside.

A rescue team found the dog breathing faintly and in a critical state. It was immediately sent to Krungsri Vet hospital in the city for first aid.

Mr. Thiti said that the vet explained that the dog could not be saved due to having inadequate surgical equipment. The dog’s spinal chord and several other nerves endings need to be reattached before the wound is stitched up. The vet told Mr. Thiti to prepare for the dog’s death. Mr. Thiti and several villagers didn’t give up and gathered money for medical fees, but the doctor was firm in the fact that the dog will not survive. Out of options, they took the dog back to the area near Sakae creek to take care of it in its last moment of life.

“We still believe that this dog will make it. So we named it Boonrod (Boon meaning merit and Rod meaning survive) because the dog has really tried its best to survive. We are scared that the dog will catch a disease or viruses through the wound, because right now the dog can only move its head but cannot move its body. When it needs to pee or poo, it does so lying in the exact same position. If anybody or any Vet in Bangkok has the right equipment to save Boonrod’s life, please contact me on 084-145-4855, or 035-244-182,” Mr. Thiti said.

After interviewing villagers, it was revealed that the area is occupied by foreign workers and laborers, working at the port near Phasak River. The area is also home to over a hundred Cambodian workers. The villagers claim to hear dogs moaning on a regular basis and said the Cambodians hunt down every dog they see and cook them in barbeques. The Cambodians seem to be getting more gruesome and cruel each day; recently they have found dead dogs to cook up, despite the warnings from people that the dog may be diseased.

It has been said that some Cambodians have event tried to buy village dogs for 100-200 baht each. There has been no proper investigation into this matter.

Doctor Ratthanachai Chulanet from Ayudthaya’s ministry of health said that the consumption of dog meat is possible and hygienic if the dogs are not diseased and that the meat must be cooked until it is no longer red. He further suggested, though, that people should avoid consuming dog meat because dogs are cute and people friendly and that Thai people don’t favor the killing of dogs.

Mrs. Jiraphan Pimphan, Ayudthaya’s chief of ministry of culture said that she understands the Cambodian diet and way of life. However, the Cambodians are now residing in Thailand, which is a Buddhist country, and they should adapt their lifestyles to fit the Thai culture. She further stated that the businesses and employers of these workers must enforce these standards. There is also a lack of animal protection laws for dogs and other pets - there are only laws for wild animals. She said the government should step in immediately to save these four-legged friends of ours.

Courtesy of Khaosod

Writer: Adrian Tse & Chet Chetchotisak