August 5, 2020

It is Not Illegal to Sell or Buy Dog Meat – RIB

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The three young men found with dog meat in Ruhango district will not be prosecuted, according to RIB

An incident happened on Sunday August 2 which has raised renewed interest over what kind of meat Rwandans can get from their neighborhood market.

Three young men were seen carrying large piece of meat in Gikumba village, Gikoma cell, Ruhango sector, Ruhango district. Suspicious, the local residents sought to know what kind of meat it was.

At first instance, the young men identified as Ihimbazwe Maurice, 20; Yangeneye Emmanuel, 22; and Nshimiyimana Theogene, 27, said it was goat meat. But did admit later that it was dog meat.

It was established by local officials that the dog was initially owned by a one Alexis Gasatsi. He sold it to one of the arrested young men.

However, on Sunday, the dog reportedly bit someone – who is currently admitted at a local hospital, and the three decided to slaughter it. They were found as they prepared to sell the meat in pieces.

There have been several similar cases previously of people caught with dog meat. Usually, such news items go viral on Rwandan social media as different posts debate why people would go for dogs, some blaming poverty, as others defend the act.

One thing however has remained unanswered; what do Rwandan laws say about dog meat.

In local media interviews, Spokesman of the Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) Dominique Bahorera said there is no law the outlaws dog meat.

Instead, that there are laws dealing with sale of meat of an animal that risks causing a medical emergency for humans. Bahorera gave example of a cow infected with foot and mouth disease.

In such case, he said, a person found selling meat from an infected animal, they will be prosecuted under existing laws because not only could it endanger humans, but may also aid spread the disease to other cows.

As regards the case of the three young men arrested in Ruhango district, the RIB spokesman said they will not be prosecuted. Instead, were taken into custody for their own security – as locals nearly lynched them.

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