Facility turns stolen dogs into meat in southern Vietnam

Undercover Tuoi Tre reporters infiltrated a ring that steals locals’ dogs and turns them into meat

A dog thief threatens a house owner with a harpoon in this still photo taken from the surveillance footage of a dog theft in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City on June 26, 2017.

A probe by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has revealed that many stolen dogs in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Duong have been transported to a secret facility where they would be turned into dog meat.

Undercover Tuoi Tre reporters have infiltrated a dog theft ring and a venue where stolen dogs become meat in Binh Duong.

On one evening, a man named Phu, about 25, was taking a stroll along several streets in Binh Duong on his motorbike when he spotted a dog, weighing around 10 kilograms, in front of a house.

Phu gave the canine a piece of poisonous food, which caused the animal to collapse on the ground.

As the thief tried to take the dog away, the owners found out and called for help.

Phu had no choice but to leave the pet and fled the scene.

The correspondents later discovered that Phu is one of the dog thieves who work for Binh, above 40, owner of a secret dog meat facility in My Phuoc Ward, Ben Cat Town.

At the venue, Phu asserted that humans would not be harmed when consuming the meat of dogs that were killed with poison.

“The canines are dead the moment they taste the toxin. They do not have a chance to swallow it,” the man explained as he prepared several small bags of dog poison.

A thief carries a dog that was killed by poison in Binh Duong Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A thief carries a dog that was killed with poison in Binh Duong Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Huy, 26, another subordinate of Binh, stated he had been a ‘freelance’ dog thief for a few years before working for Binh some months ago.

Huy is often scolded for failing to capture the dogs after poisoning them.

The man attributed his failure to the interference of local police officers.

“Dog poisoning is not always a successful method due to different reasons,” Huy elaborated, adding that taser is much more effective.

The electrified weapon is often used during long-distance hunts in Dau Tieng District or neighboring Ho Chi Minh City, when Huy usually travels with another ring member in a rented car.

“The automobile is leased at VND500,000 [US$22] a night,” he added.

Sitting on their vehicle, the dog thieves can simply taser a dog from a maximum distance of five meters.

With this approach, Huy and his partner can easily steal 30 to 40 dogs a night.

After delivering the animal to Binh and another facility in Thuan An Town, the pair can pocket dozens of millions of dong (VND10 million = $440).

A man wraps food around a small bag of dog poison. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A man wraps food around a small bag of dog poison. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Lucrative business

Dogs that are killed by poisoning or taser are processed for meat at Binh’s venue, before being sold to diners on Ngo Quyen Street in Binh Duong.

Huy said that Binh bought stolen canines at VND40,000 ($1.76) per kilogram and resold them to his clients at VND70,000 ($3) per kilogram.

He also runs several dog meat stalls along Ngo Quyen Street, which offer the raw meat at VND100,000 ($4.4) a kilogram.

According to Binh, his dog thieves can earn a lot of money, but also have to spend quite a lot on their preparations.

“Car renting can cost VND18 million [$792.6] a month,” Binh said.

“They often act in pairs, gathering at least 400 kilograms of dogs, which earn them about VND16 million [$704.6] every night,” he added.

The man also shared some insight into his dog poison, which is a rare substance and can be purchased in Ho Chi Minh City.

“The toxin is wrapped inside small plastic bags. When tearing the bag off after the first bite, a dog will immediately be poisoned,” Binh elaborated.

No one can tell if the dogs were killed with poison, not even experienced dog meat eaters, he continued.

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