Our member organization Animal Rescue Cambodia has actively contributed to the rescue of 61 dogs confiscated from a minivan by the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Agriculture. This was the first ever police intervention of this kind since the June 2020 dog meat trade ban in Cambodia’s Siem Reap Province.
The dogs, crammed tightly into six metal cages, were on their way to be slaughtered for their meat in the city of Kampong Cham. The vehicle was intercepted leaving Siem Reap by the Provincial Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Provincial Commissioner of Police. The driver was immediately arrested on the scene. All dogs were then removed from the overcrowded cages and released into a small holding area.
Animal Rescue Cambodia, together with organizations Paw Patrol Cambodia and Four Paws, provided emergency feeding and medication for the 61 rescued dogs. A veterinary team is working with the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Agriculture to vaccinate and treat all dogs for their injuries. The confiscated dogs, most of them young, include both stray animals and stolen pets. Dogs showed signs of severe heat exhaustion and dehydration and they were extremely hungry.
Although Siem Reap was the first province in Cambodia to ban the slaughter and trading of dogs for meat, it is still considered a key hot spot in the country’s dog meat trade. The province is highly involved in the large-scale sourcing and trafficking of dogs to supply the Eastern part of the country, particularly Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. According to a nationwide investigation carried by the organization Four Paws, specialized minivans equipped with cages are used to regularly transport an estimated 3,750 live dogs per month out of Siem Reap to slaughterhouses in Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom and Skun. There, dogs are drowned, stabbed, hanged or stripped of their fur and sold by wholesalers to the more than 100 dog meat restaurants in Phnom Penh.
Congratulations to Siem Reap authorities, Animal Rescue Cambodia and all the associations involved. These dogs are now safe from a certain death sentence.
Featured image: some of the confiscated dogs. Image credit Animal Rescue Cambodia.