THE health of residents in Kandal province may be threatened by poisoned dog meat bought in local markets, provincial authorities said this week.
Following a rash of dog poisonings in Kandal’s Kien Svay district, provincial officials met with 37 local dog meat vendors on Monday to educate them about the dangers of selling tainted remains.
“Dogs are often poisoned by thieves, because after the dogs are killed it is easier to burglarise a home,” said Kandal provincial police Chief Eav Chamroeun. “We’ve seen this happen many times recently, and we are worried people are selling the dead dogs without notifying local authorities.”
Heang Theam, the Kien Svay district governor, said urgent action was required to prevent a health scare. “We had to institute protective measures, because many dogs have died recently during a very short period of time,” he said, adding that consumption of these dogs “could seriously impact people’s health”.
Though the government is not interested in permanently disrupting the business of dog meat vendors, Heang Theam said, vendors who purchase poisoned dogs will face prosecution. “We encourage vendors to tip us off about dog poisoners. If we make an arrest based on one of these tips, we will provide a reward of 500,000 riels (US$120),” he said.