January 12, 2024
PHNOM PENH – In some good news for dog lovers, but bad news for those who like to eat dog meat, a senior official has proposed a public campaign to pass a law against the consumption of mankind’s best friend.
In a January 10 social media post, Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director Heng Ratana urged a public movement to end the dog meat trade in Cambodia, noting that this would preserve the traditions and culture of the Kingdom, while also respecting animal rights.
Ratana warned of an increase in the number of Cambodians eating the canine meat, especially among the youth. He said around 2 to 3 million dogs are consumed every year, despite dog slaughter houses being illegal in the country.
In addition to the health concerns surrounding the consumption of unlicensed meat, Ratana said that eating dog meat has a negative effect on Cambodia’s traditions and social morals, and could also create a negative perception among international tourists, some of whom may choose not to visit the Kingdom due to the practice.
“I believe we can do it. Cambodia has several laws governing animals and food which can be enforced. I propose a movement to create a law which bans the consumption of dog meat in the Kingdom and sets penalties against those who violate it,” he said.
CMAC is internationally renowned for its breeding and training of mine-sniffing dogs, many of which have been sent abroad on humanitarian missions.
Ratana’s suggestion came as he shared his appreciation for South Korea, which passed a law outlawing the consumption of dog meat on January 9.