Bangkok to launch raids on illegal pet markets after tragic fire

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) announced it will launch raids on unauthorised pet markets across the city following a devastating blaze at a Chatuchak district pet market that resulted in the death of over 5,000 animals.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt, alongside BMA representatives and an animal protection organisation network, addressed the media on Wednesday regarding the fire at Sri Somrat Market.

The devastating fire, which occurred on land owned by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) behind the JJ Mall shopping centre, started at 4.08am and was extinguished two and a half hours later.

The blaze caused the death of at least 5,300 animals, including many exotic species, which were housed in 118 pet shops across a 1,400 square metre area. Governor Chadchart revealed that Sri Somrat Market had been operating its pet trade business for at least two decades, with its operating licence renewed four years ago.

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In light of this incident, the 58 year old Bangkok chief announced that the BMA will scrutinise other pet markets, including Chatuchak 2 Market in Min Buri district and Sanam Luang 2 Market in Thawi Wattana district, to examine their business operations and animal welfare standards.

“We will conduct investigations under a clear checklist to standardise pet sales and reduce conflicts with business vendors.

“Moving forward, every pet shop will be required to obtain two permits: one from the BMA and another from the Department of Livestock Development (DoDL).”

The permits will authorise the sale of animals and carcasses under the Animal Epidemics Act (2015), and the Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animals Act (2014), as well as a licence to operate a health-hazardous business under the Public Health Act (1992).

Chadchart noted that the BMA only recently began issuing operating licences for health-hazardous businesses to pet shops, due to previous legal ambiguities. After resolving the issue with the Department of Health in December, he stated that all pet trade businesses, including farms, pet shops, and pet cafes, are now required to apply for the licence.

District offices in Bangkok have been tasked with providing an assessment of their inspections by July 15, reported Bangkok Post.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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