Today I spent the day in Penang, Malaysia and learned of a worrying new trend concerning dog meat in Malaysia. A small minority of Malay people have realized selling dogs for dog meat to foreign workers is a way to make quick cash, despite the dire ramifications toward them if they are found out or caught. A live dog can be sold to a foreign worker for around 50 Ringgit (US$12.)
It is not illegal by law to eat dog meat in Malaysia and foreign workers continue to flount the law in the face local Malaysian animal lovers. Foreign workers snatch street dogs and puppies despite the practice of eating dog meat being seen as culturally reprehensible.
Spending the day in Penang I was fortunate to spend a wonderful few hours with one of Malaysia’s few dog rescue organizations, Penang Hope Of Strays, where we had a very frank discussion about the secretive dog meat trade operating in Malaysia.
Not so long ago a number of foreign workers known to be killing and eating dogs, were arrested by police. Although the men were known to be conducting a back yard dog meat business, by law they could not be prosecuted because eating dog meat is not illegal. However, after an investigation a number of the men were deported for not having their immigration papers in order.
Life is difficult for Malaysian street dogs because many local people consider dogs to be unclean and consequently they are repulsed at the thought of even touching a dog’s fur. This mind set makes re-homing rescued dogs very difficult!
Penang Hope For Strays rescue many injured dogs and litters of puppies from the streets of Penang and do their best to nurse them back to health, toward re-homing them to safe and loving homes.
Fight Dog Meat look forward to working with Penang Hope Of Strays and bringing you current information on Malaysia’s dog meat trade and updates on this organization’s brave rescue work.
Black and white photographs credited to David Tesinsky, 2015.
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