Migrant Workers Dog Meat BBQ Upsets Locals

Pieces of what’s alleged to be dog meat smoke over a makeshift grill Tuesday in Hat Yai.

SONGKHLA — Police said Thursday that no charges have been filed against four construction workers found gutting and grilling a dog over a campfire in the southern province of Songkhla.

On Tuesday, a local dog lover reportedly witnessed four migrant workers from Myanmar kill and grill the dog over a grill made from a standing fan near Wat Pradittharam in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district. While residents and local animal rescue personnel reprimanded the workers Wednesday, Col. Kittichai Sangkhathaworn of Hat Yai police said that no complaint has been filed against them.

“It’s so cruel. I can’t take it. How can they swallow it down?” said 60-year-old Nalin Khantisuwan, who claimed to have witnessed what happened. “Don’t they have money to buy pork? Why do you have to eat dogs? I would give them money to buy pork instead of killing dogs.”

She said the slain canine was a brown female Thai Ridgeback about 2 years old. Nalin said she had been feeding the stray dogs around the temple and construction area every day for three years.

On Tuesday afternoon Nalin said she was coming out to feed the local strays near her home when a Myanmar woman named Yisi came and told her that four other migrant construction workers had killed and were about to eat a dog. Nalin followed a trail of blood to their campsite, where she said she saw the four men skinning and gutting the dog.

“I saw the dog dead next to the campfire and was shocked. Then they were burning it. I called the vet. I felt horrible. I don’t want them to hurt animals,” Nalin said.

Nalin said she told the men to stop in tears, but suspects they continued cooking the animal because they could not understand Thai. She called Baan Mha Yim, a local soi dog rescue organization, who reportedly arrived on the scene at 5pm to find the men enjoying the dog.

The staff threatened to call the police and spoke to the men’s supervisor at the construction company, asking him to warn his employees against eating dog meat.

Yisi said Tuesday was a day off for workers at the site.

By the fire, residents and soi dog personnel found traces of dog blood, a rope used to strangle it and banana leaves used to serve the flesh after the animal was killed.

Hat Yai police said Wednesday that this constituted animal cruelty and could be punished by up to two years in jail and a 40,000 baht fine.

Nalin Khantisuwan, 60, points where she found construction workers dragging a local stray dog.
Nalin said she was greatly distressed by seeing the dog killed.
The remnants of a campfire and fan-cover grill.
A resident holds a rope allegedly used to strangle the dog.