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Campaigners Hope To Curb Eating of Dog and Cat Meat

A shop owner seen here is preparing grilled dog meat for his customers.

A shop owner seen here is preparing grilled dog meat for his customers.

Animal welfare activists will gather in Phnom Penh on Sunday to launch a public awareness campaign to curb the eating of dog and cat meat in Cambodia.

The “Say No” campaign will last a year, and is part of a larger global campaign to stop the eating of canine and feline meat. Activists from some 25 countries around the world plan to hold similar marches on Sunday.

Dog meat is a popular cuisine in Cambodia, and the governor of Phnom Penh has gone so far as to encourage it, to reduce the number of strays in the city.

Mary Velasco, one of the march organizers, told VOA Khmer she expects about 50 people to rally with their pets on Sunday to discourage the eating of such meats, which she said can create health problems.

“We care about people,” she said. “They think eating dogs can help them and eating cats can cure them, but it is not true. Actually, it is going to give them problems.”

But for meat sellers like Dina, who only gave one name, the need for canine meat has only increased in Cambodia. It is cheap and easily available in most areas, she said. She sells about 40 kilograms per day. “I keep it in stock, and there are no sick or diseased dogs.”

“It’s not illegal,” she said. “It’s not a wild animal. It’s a kind of livestock. My suppliers buy them from villages for me. It’s good meat.”