A shipment of some 300 dogs attempting to cross the Mekong River to Vietnam’s restaurants was stopped by Thai police on Monday, officials told local media.
According to reports, the smugglers were captured in the Nakhon Phanom province late on Sunday and police were able to intervene and stop the shipment of caged dogs from crossing the river into Laos, the Bangkok Post reported.
However, police said the culprits fled the scene.
Dog meat has doubled in Vietnam in recent months, rising to about 500 baht ($16) to 1,000 baht as a result of Thailand officials cracking down on the smuggling of live dogs out of the country.
It is not the first time dogs have been attempted to be smuggled out of Thailand. In mid-August, about 1,800 dogs were rescued from smugglers in Nakhon Phanom, police said.
Their rescue made national news and after learning of their sad state Thais donated more than 20 million baht ($667,000) to help the animals.
Thai media reported on Tuesday, however, that as many as half of those dogs had died at the center because they arrived in such poor health.
Dog meat is a delicacy in Vietnam and is served at restaurants in some parts of the country’s north.
** Information from dpa was used in this report.