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Mystery over “mass dog poisonings’ in Patong

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Mystery over “mass dog poisonings’ in Patong | The Thaiger
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PATONG: Residents here are insisting that “up to 100 local dogs” have been poisoned in the middle of the night by people driving around in a Patong Municipality garbage truck.

But Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukbal vehemently denies that the cull has anything to do with the municipality.

Prasert Moonlad, a resident of Nanai Rd in Patong, told the Gazette, “My three dogs died on Nanai Rd. I saw a yellow municipal truck come by and they loaded the dogs onto the truck at around 4 or 5 am. I also saw other dogs dead by the roadside in early January.”

He added, “Our dogs were not strays – they wore collars.”

A volunteer who helps feed stray dogs in Patong said, “Recently, some of [the dogs I feed] were poisoned on Soi Nam Sia. Several people saw the Tessabaan doing this. I have also been informed by friends that this has happened in many other places in Patong as well.”

She continued, “Why do the authorities say they are not going to kill stray dogs but sterilize them instead, and then sneak around at 5 am poisoning them?

“My friend lost two of his dogs to this recent poisoning – they were not even stray dogs.”

However, Deputy Mayor Chairat said, “The Municipality has no policy to kill or poison dogs. It’s possible that they were poisoned by local people as they may have been bothering the residents.”

As to the accusations that a municipal garbage truck was involved, he replied, “Our staff’s responsibility is to collect garbage. They don’t have time to poison dogs.”

He added that he believed the number of dogs that have died was overstated. “It is an exaggeration to claim that 100 dogs have died. That would mean that we’d have to have a very large truck to load them all into.

“I stress again that the Municipality has no policy to poison or to kill dogs.” He said that it was possible that the garbage workers had been picking up dead dogs and residents had jumped to the conclusion that the garbage workers were also doing the poisoning.

He added, “We act in co-operation with Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO) and some dog foundations such as the Soi Dog Foundation to round up and sterilize dogs in the area.”

PPLO chief Sunart Wongchawalit told the Gazette that it is provincial policy not to poison dogs, which was why the PPLO had established its dog pound in Thalang.

He said, “Tambons and municipalities do have the authority to poison dogs but [whether they do so] depends on each [organization’s] policy.”

Meanwhile, in the Layan area, some 30 dogs were poisoned recently. Local people told the Gazette that the finger of suspicion pointed toward a goat farmer, but there was not enough evidence to do anything about it.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand targeting specific Chinese provinces for “tourism bubble”

Jack Burton

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Thailand targeting specific Chinese provinces for “tourism bubble” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travelwire News

Thailand’s minister of tourism and sports says his ministry will target specific provinces in China in a bid to attract tourists back to the resort island of Phuket as travel restrictions are gradually eased. Pipat Ratchakijprakarn says the ministry will not splash out money launching a tourist campaign all across China but rather target some of the many provinces that have brought Covid-19 under control.

He didn’t specify which provinces, but said Phuket is being eyed to lead the planned “tourism bubbles” comprising Thailand and its selected partners. The primary target is selected Chinese cities and provinces.

“China is the first market with potential, because flying time to Thailand is less than six hours.”

Other markets being discussed include South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and some south east Asian countries.

Before the pandemic, 1 in every 4 foreign visitors to Thailand was Chinese. There were almost 40 million foreign arrivals last year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers

Jack Burton

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Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

Officials have raided 2 Phuket casinos resulting in 87 people being arrested for allegedly gambling after the island’s provincial police received complaints of gambling dens operating around the clock – a violation of the current Emergency Decree which bans crowds.

The first raid took place at about 3:30 pm and was at a casino in tambon Talat Nua of Muang district. The premises provided parking spaces for motorcycles and up to 30 cars, and was fenced on all sides with metal sheets. Officials arrested 45 gamblers-30 men and 15 women. They also seized 62,420 baht that was placed as wagers and a gold necklace that was 15 grams in weight.

Around the same time, a second team raided another casino tambon Sisunthon of Thalang district in Phuket’s north. It was also fenced with metal sheets and featured an ample amount of parking space. 42 people- 22 men and 20 women- were rounded up with police seizing 64,260 baht in placed wagers.

All have been charged with illegal betting and violating the Emergency Decree which was recently extended through July.

Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Phuket’s (in)famous “Soi Bangla” district reopens today

Jack Burton

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Phuket’s (in)famous “Soi Bangla” district reopens today | The Thaiger

Today is the official reopening of Phuket’s famous (or infamous) “Soi Bangla” nightlife district, but only about 20% of venues say they’re reopening during this early stage. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced yesterday that all night entertainment venues may reopen but must strictly adhere to health guidelines set out to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the CCSA, says night entertainment venues, including pubs, bars, karaoke venues and beer gardens will be allowed to open, but only until midnight. Social distancing measures will be strictly enforced, and customers must use the Thai Chana app to check in and out.

The Patong Entertainment Business Association president says only about 20% of the 324 registered members are expected to reopen initially, but he expects more to reopen soon. Among the 22 rules announced last week- to be presented to the CCSA for approval- were that all staff must wear face masks and face shields, but performers may wear face shields only. No bottles are to be served, and all drinks are to be served in glasses. No pool table games (including snooker and billiards) and no dart games are to be allowed.

The number of guests in each venue is to be restricted to cater for social distancing, with at least 2 metres between tables, or partitions must be installed to ensure patrons are seated at least one metre away from each other.

Undercutting the main reason people visit popular venues, the draft rules also call for groups to be limited to 5 people, and for guests to be prohibited from dancing and singing, gathering, shouting, or “wandering around the premises”.

“I have no idea what the rules will be, but we will open anyway. If the full list of 22 rules for pubs, bars and entertainment venues is to be applied, we won’t be able to enforce all the rules, because enforcing all these rules is impossible. But we can follow some of the rules, such as social distancing, wearing masks and checking temperatures.”

Even Patong’s mayor told The Phuket News that she is yet to receive a copy of all the rules to be enforced.

“The next thing to do is follow up with the CCSA about the rules. This is very important for the entertainment industry in Patong. I will help and consider being flexible with the rules for entertainment businesses in Patong, because the rules announced by CCSA are the general rules for many places. But some of these rules are not appropriate for businesses here. We have to apply the right rules and optimise them for businesses in Patong.”

The PEBA president dismissed a few entertainment zones being singled out in other countries as “hotbeds for starting a second wave” of Covid-19 infections.

“I do not care what some people claim is the risk of being in a bar. If the government is genuinely concerned about the risk of Covid-19 spreading, then it is not just about bars, pubs and entertainment venues. The risk of Covid-19 spreading applies anywhere where people are around, not only at bars and pubs.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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