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Kakau: Where dog meat reigns supreme

The place is Kakau, a small community few kilometers from Kaduna. This mini settlement is a stop-over relaxation spot for many travelers plying the Kaduna-Abuja…

The place is Kakau, a small community few kilometers from Kaduna. This mini settlement is a stop-over relaxation spot for many travelers plying the Kaduna-Abuja highway.  Weekenders who want to stay away from the hustle and bustle associated with Kaduna go there to while away time. Located by the roadside, which makes it accessible, the parking spaces surrounding the tents and mud huts are often flanked by expensive cars and other types of automobiles.

Beside the assorted meats sold in this setting, women who sell palm wine and local salad add spice to the evening. Unlike the prices of assorted meats which are on the high side (especially dog meat), that of a large plate of prepared vegetable goes for as low as 30 naira.

Weekly Trust observed that most travelers who stop to relax at the tents are there to have a taste of some roasted meat, fish, various sorts of birds, bush meat as well as the `king` of meat, dog meat, which is more expensive than the rest.

Our reporter observed that access to the ‘king’ of meat is somewhat not very easy, as one has to be taken to a special area inside the village to be able to get it, especially when it is not on a weekend. The reason for the weekday scarcity is not far from the fact that sellers do not slaughter the dogs as much as they do during weekends due to brisk patronage, Weekly Trust gathered.

When asked if he only sells or eats the dog meat as well, the chief chef who identifies himself as Jacob Antok said “dog is a normal meat, in fact, it is the best meat. Eating it gives you special protection againstwitchcraft.’’

He further stated that the meat also improves sexual potency, especially for the male. The chief chef emphatically said that dog meat is also a protection against poison.

Another regular customer at Kakau relaxation spot, Bako Agwam, a driver with a government agency in Abuja, revealed that he eats dog meat because he grew up in his village seeing his parents, relatives and people in his village eating it. He however believes that the meat also provides protection from some diseases.

“E dey protect person from all these Nyama-Nyama disease. Me and my friends call it ‘Dogmacine’ because it cures diseases. I am telling you, this meat cures malaria, I have tried it several times. Whenever I have symptoms of fever, it helps me. People who eat dog meat have no business with malaria.’’

One of the butchers in Kakau, Gama Joshua whose line of trading cuts across roasted chicken, guinea fowl, bush meat,beef,pigeon as well as dog meat told our reporter how the various meats are identified on the stand.

“Dog meat is sold to people who are regular customers. They know the stands where the meat is displayed; they know the sellers, except if the person is new. Sometimes our customers have to move inside or send for the sellers to bring dog meat for them. If it is not weekend, the meat is a bit scarce. ‘’

“But in any case, for proper differenciation between dog meat and other meats, we make it known to customers by informing them. It is also our  rule here to keep the head on display until the last minute. The head goes last, which is for customers to know what they are buying or consuming.’’

He also said they have various ways of slaughtering the dogs. “We sometimes use wires, sticks and ropes to kill the animals.’’

The following are some terminologies associated with dog meat and are familiar to both consumers and sellers.

404: Dog meat is called 404 due to the animals’pacy ability. It is named after French built Peugeot pick-up van, tribute to the animal’s ability to run fast.

Headlights: Part of the dog’s head with the eye balls attached.

Gear box: Is the dogs’ liver, heart and kidneys (Usually more expensive than the ordinary red meat).

Tyre: A dog’s leg, some of the eaters believe if a young person eats a lot of the leg, there is probability that he is likely to run faster.

Telephone: The tail.

Sentencing: The act of clubbing a dog to death rather than slaughtering it. This act is obtainable in most of the spots.

It is like the case of different strokes for different folks, as some people or communities believe that eating dog meat is advantegoeus, there are others who are of a contrary view and believe. A friend to one of the regular customers at Kakau who refused to mention his name said:

“I don’t and cannot eat dog meat. My friend eats it; I just stopped-by with him. As you can see, I have my roasted chicken before me. In as much as I don’t eat it, I don’t have a problem with people that engage in it. But for me, dogs are more of pets. I can’t turn them to food. My friend eats it and we are together, that is his choice’’.

From the medical perspective, Dr Yakubu Joseph told Weekly Trust on telephone that “Dog meat is not any different from other red meats. The claim that it cures malaria is certainly not true.”

Another veterinary expert in Jos, Dr Tanshak Peter said `The issue of dog meat is a cultural thing. It boils down to choice and compatibility to body system.” He however warned emphatically that dogs that are infected with rabies are dangerous to consume. He stated that rabies is a killer disease found among dogs and very dangerous to humans. He said even the rabies-treated dogs that are consumable  must still be cooked properly, “to a high degree boiling point before eating to avoid any  possible harm’’.

Peter remarked that; “I can personally say that dog meat could be irritating for non-consumers but is nutritional. Dog meat is not and cannot be a vaccine against poison or any juju,” reiterating that “it is a superstitious belief.’’

He further appealed to consumers of dog meat to be very careful where they buy and eat it.

“There is a very big problem with the dog meat consumption. A lot of these butchers and sellers don’t adhere to basic hygiene when preparing dog meat. They don’t even know what rabies is. So the possibility of slaughtering an infected dog is there. With the locals, they won’t even care to cook it properly to the required boiling point; the environment is usually very dirty.This is mostly the case with the local dog meat vendors. They cannot and do not do it the way the Chinese or some top class restaurants  would prepare the dish and adhere to some other health and hygiene issues.’’

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