47 dogs seized as police bust dog meat ring in southern Vietnam

By Hong Tuyet   December 23, 2016 | 08:43 pm PT
47 dogs seized as police bust dog meat ring in southern Vietnam
Dogs, dead and alive, seized by police in Tay Ninh Province on Friday. Photo provided by the police
Most of the stolen dogs were already slaughtered and about to hit dinner tables at local restaurants.

Police in the southern province of Tay Ninh have seized 47 dogs, including 32 dead ones, as they raided a dog theft ring on Friday.

The officers arrested five men, aged 27 to 55, early on Friday morning. They said three of them roamed the streets and used stun guns to catch dogs, then their accomplices would slaughter and sell the animals for meat at VND50,000 ($2) a kilo.

Around five million dogs are killed in Vietnam every year, making the country the second biggest consumer of dog meat in the world after China, which consumes roughly 20 million.

The consumption has been criticized by many in Vietnam and around the world as most of the dogs are pets stolen and killed in brutal ways.

Vietnam does not have strong regulations to stop the practice.

Dog thieves are rarely punished, and nor are the people who buy and sell stolen meat.

Current laws only treat theft as a criminal offense if the object’s value exceeds VND2 million, less than $100. Due to rising pressure from both within and outside the country, legislators are considering a provision that would criminalize pet theft.

All the five men arrested on Saturday face a possible criminal investigation, as the dogs weighed 512 kilograms and were worth around $1,100 in total, an estimate that is controversially based on the market price for dog meat.

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