Nigeria: Vet doctors, global petition decry animal cruelty amid Nigeria’s thriving dog meat market.

“Most of our customers are from the North and South. The general name for dog meat is 404, because of the dog’s speed akin to that of a car of the same brand. We call it 404 meat in Calabar, Cross River State. It can’t be differentiated after it’s been cooked.”

“In Lagos, we don’t have what we can use to burn the hair on the dog apart from kerosene. In my village, when we kill it, we use some particular type of leaves to burn it. But in Lagos we use kerosene to burn it and wash it with soap so it won’t affect the taste.”

He noted that they usually recorded quality sales, adding that some people could kill only two dogs and not exhaust the meat due to low patronage.

He noted, “Environmental health officers come to the area to complain about the front-yard. They always say that the frontage is not clean but we covered the cage so it won’t be exposed to the main road.”

Daniel further stated that they only kill local dogs, adding that the dogs were always but not fed after being purchased because, “if we give them food they will defecate anyhow. They can stay a month without eating and nothing will happen to them. When we buy them, we only give them water to drink and we add a small amount of salt to the water so it won’t reduce their weight. These dogs are healthy when bought. I can’t kill a dog I trained. I can have a dog as a pet but these dogs are easy to kill because we didn’t train them.’’

Also speaking, Michael’s boss, Alapata said it’s almost 20 years since he started the business, explaining that people knew him in the area. He noted that his joint was like the headquarters where people buy raw dog meat from him to cook at their stalls.

Alapata said, “People are really going into the business, it’s profitable. People like dog meat because it is not the common meat one sees in any market or anywhere. Some people like the dried meat, so we dry some and make some into something similar to pepper soup.”

“The residents don’t discriminate against us but when I was using the backyard of where I live people usually complained including co-tenants and the landlord. I am the oldest tenant there. The landlord said I should use the front of my shop to do whatever I want to do.”

An Ondo State-based dog meat seller, Jimoh Mustapha, otherwise called ‘Jimoh Alaja’ (Jimoh the dog man) said he joined the business because it was lucrative in Ondo State and commonly eaten in the state.

Mustapha stated, “Dog meat is good, people like it in Ondo State. They believe it cures some ailments too. People know me in Oba-Ile garage for dog meat. There are many dog meat joints in the town. I don’t have a name for my joint, but people call me Jimoh Alaja.

“We call dog meat ‘404’ because some people don’t want others to know that they want to buy dog meat so they call it ‘404.’ Whenever I want to kill a dog, I use a rod with a long rope tied to it. I will hold its neck with the rod and someone will help hold it down and I will hit its head with a stick till it becomes weak. I will then use a knife to cut the neck.

Mustapha said, “After cutting the neck, I will burn it to remove the hair and wash it, cook it with pepper and scent leaves. I will later cut it into different sizes. Each portion sells for N100 or N200.”

He said he could kill about three to four dogs in a day without any of the meat remaining.

“The people that sell the dogs call me sometimes saying that they have dogs to sell. I either go there or they bring them to my place. We buy dogs from anywhere, sometimes in Sokoto, Igbara Odo, Igbara-Oke and Ogbese. If I have 10 dogs in a day, I can manage them for a few days,’’ he noted.

He added that he could buy dogs at expensive prices and sold them at ridiculous prices and sometimes the sales were higher. “There’s nothing in killing dogs for food. We have power over animals and dogs are among them,’’ the dog meat seller said.

Another dog meat seller identified only as Solomon, told our correspondent that that finance was his only challenge in the business. He noted that he also sold alcoholic drinks in his joint located at Oke Arata, along Igbo-Oliki, Akure, Ondo State.

Solomon said, “The patronage is good. Patronage increases if the joint is located where there are many people. They will patronise one especially where there are youths. They call me Solo around where my joint is.

“I go to villages in Ondo State to buy dogs. I kill about two to three dogs in a day and I sell everything. Sometimes, some portions may remain if the business is dull.’’

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