For the past seven years, Khath Hach and her husband would wake at 2 a.m., go to the shed at the back of their house in central Cambodia, drag a rusty wire cage containing up to five medium-sized dogs to the nearby river and drown them.
The pair, owners of a dog slaughterhouse in Chi Meakh village, would then de-fur the animals, chop up their meat and load up the family’s motorcycle for an hour’s ride. By 6:30 a.m., they would be at a market, selling the sach pises or “special meat.”
The work was both physically demanding and emotionally draining, said Hach, 37. “Every time I killed the dogs, I felt really sad. Because it’s really hard to kill and take another life.”