Cambodia cools on dog meat as COVID puts Asia on disease alert

Bans in Siem Reap, China and India raise hopes for healthier, more humane future.

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.”

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