Thailand’s Illegal Dog Meat Smuggling


dog meat smuggling

One million dogs are eaten each year in Vietnam, reports CNN. Due to the strong demand for dog meat, business is rising for dog smugglers – hence a market for dog meat smuggling. Stray dogs and pets are captured in Thailand and traded for $60 each in Vietnam. The life of a loving and furry companion ends as the main dish in a restaurant.

One reason the trade is increasing is that dogs are friendly and easy to catch. They are rounded up in the streets and stolen out of gardens. Dog traders have no respect for the animal. Dogs are tossed into cages like apples into a fruit bowl. They are packed twenty to a wire cage, and piled on top of each other.  Trucks transport hundreds of dogs stuffed into tight spaces with no room, little air, and no thought for their comfort, health, or mental state. The journey for these stolen animals lasts several days. They endure disgraceful and inhuman conditions. Due to the restricted area in which they are kept, many dogs suffocate and die before they reach the destination. Others will bite and be bitten, driven by the uncomfortable surroundings.

According to smugglers, the taste of dog meat improves when full of stress hormones. Due to this belief, dogs are tortured before slaughter. At the end of the long journey, the dogs lucky enough to survive again suffer painful and terrifying deaths. Their throats are slit, they are skinned alive, or they are bludgeoned to death in front of the others. As sensitive and smart creatures, the dogs know what is coming.

Authorities in Thailand are aware of the horrifying problem. They have completed thousands of raids to free captured dogs. However, the laws are unclear and traders generally receive light sentences. Two organizations are fighting to change the laws. CNN reports, “the Soi Dog Foundation and the Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are working with the Department of Livestock Development to get an Animal Welfare Draft Law through the Thai Parliament.”

The fight continues to help keep dogs off of the plates in Vietnam. A documentary was recently released to the public. ‘Shadow Trade’ by John Keeble visits the horror houses to shed light on the dark and dangerous trade of illegal dog smuggling. Many people in Thailand are completely unaware of the cruelty occurring on their doorstep, reports The hope is to bring awareness to the general public and educate citizens on the facts. An English version is to be released at a later date.

To donate to this cause and help feed and re-home rescued animals, visit