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Thailand to Curb Dog Meat Trade - 2003-06-23

Dog meat has been a delicacy in parts of Thailand for generations, but now Bangkok aims to put a leash on the unregulated canine culinary trade.

In the next few months, the government plans to impose controls that are intended to curb the spread of disease and fend off criticism from animal activists.

The proposed new law will not ban the trade, but will regulate it by requiring licenses for the transport and slaughter of dogs.

The chief of the Department of Livestock Development says the government wants people to see dogs as cute animals, not as a product for consumption.

Most dog meat in Thailand comes from domestic pets and strays in the northeastern part of the country. The bulk of the meat ends up on Bangkok tables, while some flesh and organs are exported for products such as drum tops and golf gloves.

The industry employs hundreds of people in places such as Sakhon Nakhon province, where the governor is fed up with the slaughter and sale of dog meat.

Governor Panchai Borvornratanapran tells the French news agency he wants to ban the trade altogether - by giving the law more teeth, and encouraging Thais to practice healthier eating habits.

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