Captain Thirikiat Thongaram says the patrol intercepted dog smugglers on the shores of the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province. The dogs were on a truck near a ferry that was to take them across the river to Vietnam. The Mekong River flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, making it a perfect route for smuggled goods.
Life with Dogs reports that while most Thai people believe eating dogs contradicts Buddhist teaching, others have cashed in and made a small fortune collecting and exporting stray and “nuisance” dogs to Vietnam. Some Thai authorities see the dog trade as a way of getting rid of an unwanted problem—less serious than drug smuggling or illegal immigration—while Thai animal advocates decry it as uncivilized and unnecessary.