In Thailand, hundreds of thousands of dogs are being captured in the streets or stolen from their owners and then smuggled to neighboring countries to be slaughtered in horrible conditions for their meat to be served at restaurants, MailOnline reports.
The industry is estimated to be worth around $32 million a year in Thailand alone and is run by highly organized criminal gangs, which are involved not just in the dog-meat trade, but in narcotics and human smuggling. And with so much money at stake, the smuggling gangs are constantly adjusting to the law-enforcement tactics. They have now started slaughtering the dogs before they leave Thailand to minimize the chances of live cross-border shipments being detected.
The struggle against the dog-meat trade is led by British-run charity Soi Dog Foundation whose chief investigator, known as Mrs. Ha, whose real identity is kept secret for fears of her being targeted by smuggling gangs. In the past year alone, she has helped affect dozens of arrests and has blocked the shipments of thousands of dogs. She says:
The dog meat trade has deep roots in Thailand. It has been here for a long time and powerful, dangerous people run the business. It will not stop easily.
Shockingly, most of the dogs rescued by Mrs. Ha and her associates are pet dogs, stolen at night from their homes across Thailand for the equivalent of a few dollars each by thieves who then drag them with ropes behind motorbikes before selling them on to dog meat gangs. The dogs are then jammed together in metal cages where many of them die. Up to 1,500 dogs are then shipped hundreds of miles by truck to jungle camps in northern Thailand where they are kept in the cages in the oppressive heat for days on end, waiting to be smuggled to China or Vietnam. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Police and campaigners intercepted gangsters trying to smuggle them across the Mekong river from Thailand into Vietnam for their meat.
2. The dogs are snatched from their owners, bound with rope and dragged behind motorbikes through the streets of Thailand before being trafficked through the jungle (above).
3. These dogs have been rescued in the Thai jungle but were destined to be skinned and turned into luxury dishes that are believed to improve male potency.
The dogs’ ordeals are finally over when they are beaten savagely with metal pipes, dipped in boiling water to loosen their fur and, eventually, skinned — often while still alive — before their meat is served up in restaurants China or Vietnam where dog dishes can cost up to $50. Read MailOnline’s full report here.
4. An intercepted cargo of dogs destined for the dog meat trade is unloaded at a rescue center in northern Thailand.
5. Dogs that have already been slaughtered piled in the back of a van by smugglers in Thailand.
6. Caged dogs transported in cramped by smugglers in Thailand — they were later intercepted and rescued.
7. A rescued dog is treated at the Soi Dog Foundation clinic in Phuket, Thailand after being beaten about the head by smugglers.
And here is a video by the Humane Society International (HSI), which provides a look inside the horrifying dog-meat trade that claims a half a million dogs every year all around Asia:
Share this hugely disturbing story with your friends and your thoughts in the comments below.