Police in Rwamagana District are holding two men who were allegedly found trying to sell dog meat at Gishari trading centre on Tuesday.
The two suspects are residents of Kinyana Cell in Gasabo District.
Rwamagana residents were left dumbfounded as the two men were escorted to Kigabiro Police Station carrying two carcasses of a dog and a goat.
The dog, just like the goat, had its skin, head, tail and paws removed and put on sale disguised as goat.
Jean de Diue Mugabo, a resident, said the dog trade could have been going on unnoticed in many areas.
“This is an eye-opener to us. We are served roasted meat in bars and we can’t tell whether its goat or dog or something our culture doesn’t allow us to eat,” he said.
Paul Masumbuko, another resident, blamed the increase in such illegal trade to laxity of veterinary officers, adding they were not active enough to check the problem.
“These guys carried the dog and goat carcasses all the way from Kigali, no one stopped them. If meat dealers sell sheep meat disguised as goat meat, why are we surprised that they sell dog meat in the same manner?” Masumbuko asked.
“Some people are determined to make money by all means, so unless the concerned authorities and the public become vigilant, I am afraid we shall be poisoned by all sorts of meat.”
Jean Marie Njangwe, the eastern region Police spokesperson, said officers arrested the duo following a tip off by a local leader.
However, there was drama as the suspects insisted that the meat they were selling was of a goat.
“This is a goat, I don’t know why people are failing to see it. We sell goat meat and not dogs,” one of the suspects said, attracting scorn.
Njangwe said the suspects will be charged with selling noxious food, which is contrary to Section 144 of the Penal Code.
“Article 144 of the Penal Code stipulates that a person convicted of selling or feeding people poisonous substances faces life imprisonment. So, if they fall in the category, they (the suspects) will face the sentence,” Njangwe said.