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Thread: Dinnertime chat: Cambodia rat trade with Thailand

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Dinnertime chat: Cambodia rat trade with Thailand

    edited - full story at link in header


    As Prices Fall, Rat Hunting’s Few Charms Fade
    JULY 15, 2014

    Just after sunrise in the slums surrounding the Stung Meanchey dump, Lak Han, 45, sits in the dirt outside his home methodically chopping up a large pile of rodents.

    For many years, like hundreds of others at the dumpsite, Mr. Han made a paltry living collecting scraps of garbage until he turned to a more lucrative source of income—hunting rats.



    Mr. Han spends most nights prowling the city’s streets, before returning to his metal shack at the dumpsite by 6 a.m. to begin preparing the rat meat.

    According to Stung Meanchey residents, the meat is trucked to Poipet City and then taken across the border to Thailand, where it is processed for human consumption.

    For all of the men at the Stung Meanchey waste site who have made rat catching their livelihood, their decision comes down to simple economics. Mr. Han said he could earn as much as $32.50 per day when he first started catching, at the height of the rat market.

    However, the price they can fetch for their catch is now starting to fall.

    Sok Kom, 29, previously made about $60 per month working for an oil distribution firm but now receives 3,500 riel ($0.87) per kg of rats. He says increasing competition has driven down his nightly haul from about 15 kg to 10 kg or less, making his livelihood less sustainable than it once was.

    And as more people have flocked to the vocation, the sole buyer has also slashed the price for a kilogram of rodents from 6,500 riel ($1.62) to 3,500 riel. A night’s work might now net Mr. Kom only $8.75, down from about $24.

    The purchaser of the rats is a comparatively well-off businessman who lives in a two-story concrete house at the dump. He refused to talk to a reporter before driving away on a motorbike, but his wife, Pov Chantho, 55, said the couple bought about 100 kg of rats per day.

    Speaking as a steady stream of people brought their catch to be weighed outside her family’s home, Ms. Chantho said the rat meat, which is stored in large plastic coolers, was being sold to Thai buyers.

    “We keep it for about five days and when we get about 500 kg with 10 pieces of ice and send it to Thailand,” she said.

    Cambodia has long exported live rats to Vietnam, where the meat is considered a delicacy, and people in the northeast of Thailand are also said to have a taste for rodents.

    However, unlike the rats being sent to Vietnam, which mostly live in provincial rice paddies and eat plants, the rats now apparently being sent to Thailand subsist on Phnom Penh’s waste.

    Ms. Chantho said that she had a nephew in Poipet City who contacted the couple with a business proposition—find people willing to catch rats so that he could export them out of the country.

    “He told us that he had people who wanted to buy rats in Thailand, so we asked our people to look for rats and sell them to us,” she said.


    Rat catcher Sok Kom demonstrates his homemade rat-hunting weapon as his wife looks on at their home at the Stung Meanchey dump on Friday morning.

  2. #2
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Its enough to make you go vegan....

    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Minder's Avatar
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    So conclusion from the article is that competition is not necessarily good for the end consumer unless production cost savings are passed on?
    Life is the unexpected ...

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Stillearly's Avatar
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    No more rat for me ....

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    Cadet Bronze
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    I'm pleased I finished my breakfast before reading this.

    I do wonder how many people have unknowingly eaten rat ?

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    I was watching one of those doomsday preppers programs on TV last night... Now why go spend all those hundreds of thousands of dollars on dehydrated foodstuffs when there will be so much protein running around?

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Stillearly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaynewcastle View Post
    I'm pleased I finished my breakfast before reading this.

    I do wonder how many people have unknowingly eaten rat ?
    If you've ever been for a Chinese or Indian in Newcastle , the odds are ...

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    If they dare eat the farmers crops...they get eaten.

    Out in our part of Isaan they only eat the hiso grain fed type....not the gutter dirty rat variety.
    So locally caught or probably shot with the little guns they make for just that purpose.....quite a delicacy for them actually!

    I doubt they would trust rats from Cambo.
    Last edited by Moo Uaon; 20th July 2014 at 19:04.
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moo Uaon View Post
    If they dare eat the farmers crops...they get eaten.

    Out in our part of Isaan they only eat the hiso grain fed type....not the gutter dirty rat variety.
    So locally caught or probably shot with the little guns they make for just that purpose.....quite a delicacy for them actually!

    I doubt they would trust rats from Cambo.
    Same same down the road in our baan. My fav cousin-in law takes great delight in bbq'ing fresh rat or making chili rat stirfry ... at least he does it outside, not in the kitchen. They say it tastes like chicken ... doesn't everything?
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moo Uaon View Post
    If they dare eat the farmers crops...they get eaten.

    Out in our part of Isaan they only eat the hiso grain fed type....not the gutter dirty rat variety.
    So locally caught or probably shot with the little guns they make for just that purpose.....quite a delicacy for them actually!

    I doubt they would trust rats from Cambo.
    That's the rat I had. Posh rat... 555

    Didn't taste as bad as I feared, though I couldn't eat much because my brain wouldn't let me...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  11. #11
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Do they have "Wagyu Rat?".
    You know, grain fed hand reared ones always kept indoors...$99 a kilo.
    Hatari likes this.
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

  12. #12
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    That's the rat I had. Posh rat... 555

    Didn't taste as bad as I feared, though I couldn't eat much because my brain wouldn't let me...
    You put posh spice on it?
    Quarky likes this.

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