Over one thousand dogs intended for consumption were rescued by Thai authorities on Thursday evening, reports AFP.
Four trucks were stopped in the Nakhon Phanom province of northeastern Thailand. According to the Daily Mail, police swooped in with two raids near the Laos border. The trucks were stacked high with dogs stuffed into tiny cages, and 119 dogs were already dead.
According to a Nakhon Phanom livestock development official, the dogs died either from suffocation, or from being thrown from the trucks when the alleged traffickers tried to flee the scene.
The dogs were being sent across a Laos river and into Vietnam. Police case officer Captain Prawat Pholsuwan told AFP that two Thai men and a Vietnamese man have been charged with trafficking and illegally transporting animals. The men face a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a fine of up to $670.
According to police, traffickers are known to round up stray dogs in rural Thai villages, and sell them for up to $33 per dog in Vietnam.
The Daily Mail reports that these dogs were “destined to be cooked and eaten.”
According to the news source, there are 13 countries that still consume dog meat. In Indonesia, the Batak Toba culture is reportedly known to cook a dog meat dish named “saksang."
In April, hundreds of dogs were rescued from slaughter in Beijing, China thanks to a group of animal activists. According to the Associated Press, the activists blocked a truck transporting the dogs, and negotiated for their release in exchange for $17,000.
While most reactions to these incidents are ones of horror, and many cultures are disturbed by the thought of eating a dog, some have asked -- what is the real difference between eating dog meat and cow meat? Or eating any other animal for that matter?
While the condition that these dogs were found in is considered atrocious, many other animals face similar mistreatment in the United States.
Earlier this summer, Mercy for Animals, a Chicago-based animal welfare group, unveiled to the public undercover videos of livestock mistreatment.
The Associated Press reported that in the video, “sows are shown in small cages, known as gestation crates, that limit their ability to move, and workers are shown castrating piglets and removing their tails without anesthetics…There are repeated shots of workers tossing piglets across a room.”
To learn about helping dogs, visit ASPCA's website.