26th March 2014;
Hundreds of dog skins have been found dumped in a forest in Sakhon Nakon province in an area notorious for exporting canine meat and skins used for making leather for items such as golf gloves, police said Wednesday.
Acting on a tip-off, police made the gruesome discovery in bags left next to a large pile of dog bones in a forest on Tuesday in Muang district, Sakon Nakhon, which borders Laos.
“The skins would be bleached – some are then sent by smugglers to other countries to be made into gloves for playing golf,” Pol Sub Lt Lamai Sakolpitak, the deputy superintendent of the provincial police force, said.
“Experts say that dog skins are also used for instruments such as drums,” Pol Sub Lt Lamai said, adding that it is illegal to kill canines to sell their parts in Thailand or abroad.
He said the find was likely linked to a recent raid on two nearby makeshift factories where skins were stripped from dogs’ bodies.
“Some people were afraid that we would find the skins at their houses, so they dumped them,” he added.
Local campaign group, Watchdog Thailand, condemned the killing of dogs for sale, saying that exporters pay around US$10 (320 baht) for every live dog, including pets and strays from surrounding areas.
They then butcher the animals, skin them and blow-torch the carcasses to preserve the meat for sale – mainly to buyers in Vietnam and China where it is a delicacy.
“The skins are used for golfing gloves, hats, small purses and wallets,” a staff member of Watchdog Thailand told AFP, requesting anonymity.
“Cow leather is more expensive and therefore not always used to make small products.”
The group said the raid earlier this year also yielded scores of dog carcasses and skins.
In May last year around 2,000 dogs kept in cages – and apparently destined for the dinner table – were rescued in the province.