Phuket, Thailand16 January 2015 –Thailand’s new animal welfare law came into force again on January 13th in Maesauy,Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, after an image of a man skinning a dead dog was posted on Facebook. Police were alerted to the posting by Soi Dog’s full time investigation unit, Watchdog Thailand. Investigations led to a famous bike shop in the area, run by aMrVeerachai, the former owner of the dog.
Under questioning, MrVeerachai admitted giving the dog to a MrKraitong to be killed for consumption.According to Police Major General WeerawutNiannoi ,Police Commander of Chiang Rai, this constituted a breach of Article 20 of the Animal Welfare Law, which statesit is illegal to commit or to allow others to commit an act of animal cruelty. MrVeerachai was arrested and charged under Article 20.
MrKraitong was subsequently arrested, and admitted to the crime of killing the dog by inflicting a heavy blow to its head. He was also charged under Article 20.
Both MrVeerachai and MrKraitongwere sentenced to one year in jail, under probation, and fined 8,000 baht each.
John Dalley, co-founder and vice president of Soi Dog Foundation, Thailand’s leading dog and cat welfare charity, said”Whilst welcoming the verdict, we are concerned that the courts are not yet punishing offenders to the extent the law allows. (2 years in prison and 40,000thb fine). The main purpose of sentences is to act as a deterrent. If people understand that an action will lead to a prison sentence they will be far less likely to commit the offence. The courts currently have the opportunity to show that the Thai people will not tolerate cruelty to any living creature”.
Thailand’s first Animal Welfare Law came into effect on 27th December 2014, following extensive lobbying by Soi Dog Foundation and other animal welfare organisations.
About Soi Dog Foundation: Soi Dog Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2003, is a legally registered charity in Thailand, the United States, Australia, the UK, France and Holland. Our mission statement is to improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities, to create a society without homeless animals, and to ultimately end animal cruelty. John Dalley, co-founder and vice president, is available for interview.
For more information please visit www.soidog.org or www.facebook.com/SoiDogPageInEnglish.