|Award of Excellence|
"Thailand's Illegal Dog Meat trade"
A collaboration between NGO agents and the Mekong River Navy led to a bust of this pickup containing 130 dogs just as it was about to load them on to a boat. Crammed in to cages, up to 15 dogs at a time, the animals endure horrific conditions whilst being illegally shipped to Vietnam. This shipment was stopped just before being smuggled across the River Mekong.
Every year an estimated 200,000 dogs are illegally smuggled across the River Mekong, from Thailand in to Laos, where they are driven by truck to Vietnam. Stuffed in to tiny crude metal cages they are then taken up to the slaughter houses and dog meat restaurants of Hanoi, Vietnam's capital. A dog bought in Thailand for as little as US$7 can then be sold for up to US$100 in Vietnam making it a very profitable trade for the mafia gangs that control it. NGO's and officials in Thailand Northeast are fighting hard to stop the trade and in 2013 alone have saved thousands of dogs from being smuggled across the border to Laos.