Cambodian dog meat merchants drown, strangle and sting thousands of dogs every day in a shady but sprawling store that traumatizes workers and exposes them to lethal health risks of rabies.
Khieu Chan bursts into tears as he describes a job that haunts him in his sleep: He kills up to six dogs a day and cuts their throats.
Dog meat, a cheap source of protein, is still eaten in several Asian countries from China and Japan South Korea to Vietnam and non-Muslim communities in Indonesia.
Animal welfare activists say consumption has declined as the region's middle class has grown – more people own pets and there is greater stigma when they eat dog.
It is estimated that in Cambodia, between two and three million slaughtered dogs. The company has identified more than 100 dog meat restaurants in the capital, Phnom Penh, and about 20 in the temple city of Siem Reap.
"It has this massive trade," says Katherine Polak, a Thailand-based veterinarian working with the NGO. She claims that motorcyclists in the north of Cambodia have swapped pots, pans, and cookware for unwanted dogs and loaded them into a heavy rectangular cage in the backseat and deliveries to middlemen.
Living specimens earn $ 2 to $ 3 per kilo, giving suppliers incentives to collect as much as possible.
Researchers say the dog meat trade is publicly alth crisis because it carries potentially infected animals across the country.
Cambodia has one of the highest incidence rates of rabies in the world and most cases are from dog bites.
The trade also undermines local dog vaccination efforts by removing and killing vaccinated dogs.
Unhygienic slaughterhouses have no safety regulations as they are not monitored by the government and the workers do not wear protective clothing.
"I was bitten by a dog, but I was not vaccinated because when I" Pring told AFP in a village in Siem Reap, when he cooked dog meat stew with fermented fish paste.
Instead, the 33-year-old cleaned the wound with soap and lemon.
] Industrial slaughterhouses in developing countries have established a certain distance between workers and animals.
But the Cambodian dog trade is handy.
After receiving the shipment, shirtless men put dogs with sticks in cages.
They a They were then hung up, strangled with a rope, hit over the head or drowned in a pit filled with foul-smelling water.
Shortly after sunrise in a village in Siem Reap, a worker pulled a dog out of a cage and hung it on the branch of a tree while drying laundry.
After gasping for a few minutes, he did not move anymore.
Then he was placed in boiling water to remove the fur and cut it into pieces.
"On a good day, I kill 10 dogs or 12 dogs," says former Hun Hoy soldier.
"I also feel sorry for them, but I have to strangle them," the 59-year-old adds $ 1,000 in a country where wages in garment factories are under $ 200.
"It's quicker to meet them," explains Dara, 30, collector, trader and butcher.
"I know it's a sin," he adds.
In the provinces of Kampong Cham and Kandal, drowning is the preferred method of slaughter.
I do not have to hear their cries, "said one woman.
Meat and meat are sold to restaurants, where they are popular with day laborers as a grilled snack or as a $ 1.25 soup.
Das Psychological trauma of bringing cheap meat to table is immense and those who find a better job take it.
Next to his dog cage in Takeo, Khieu Chan spoke of meeting four paws during their investigation of the trade.
In One unconventional turn they gave he landed for agriculture when he would close his restaurant.
One afternoon he helped the NGO cautiously remove the sick dogs from the cage under a tree.
But before they are removed and treated After being sent to Phnom Penh, he knelt down at the bar to say goodbye.
He says, "Now you have freedom. They are spared death. "