Although Wararat Krasae, 30, has not been charged with any crime in connection with the death of the month-old kitten, which is believed to have been killed just hours after she adopted it, the department is ready to assist the police if and when the case is opened, Sawarawit Thaneeto said.
The department is legally responsible for enforcing the Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animal Act, BE 2557 (2014), which is designed to protect animals ‘raised as pets, as animals for work, as beasts of burden, as friends, as livestock, as performing show animals, or for any other purpose, no matter with or without owners’.
It states that if a court of law establishes that one of the above-cited group of animals has been deliberately and cruelly harmed or killed by a human, the offender can face up to two years in jail and/or a maximum fine of B40,000, Mr Sawarawit said.
The dead kitten is now being kept by Watchdog Thailand, an NGO that collected the remains from its original owner after the DJ returned it.
Isaraporn Samutklalin, 29, accused the DJ of brutally killing the kitten, which the owner had put up for adoption, during a live stream on a site that caters to fetishts on the dark web, for which she was due to earn the cryptocurrency bitcoin.
Ms Isaraporn has since filed a complaint with Phetkasem Police in Bangkok. The DJ finally returned its corpse but claimed it had been run over by a car.
The veterinarian who performed a forensic examination of the cadaver found that its internal organs had been removed and there were also signs it had in fact been run over.
However, Mr Sawarawit said yesterday that the vet, who was hired by Watchdog Thailand, is not a specialist in pathology, and that the carcass must be properly examined by the local livestock office.
Specialists at the department’s National Institute of Animal Health said they were still unclear about the cause of death and the condition of the cadaver, which must be preserved at the right temperature so the tissue does not decay.
Any tampering with the animal could also jeopardise the legitimacy of the postmortem, they said. That would make Wararat’s statements the key pieces of evidence in a police case, Mr Sawarawit said, adding she may be subjected to a psychological examination.
Lt Gen Suthipong Wongpin, acting commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said he has instructed officers to speed up their collection of any other evidence. He said they would meet today (Oct 24) for an update on how the investigation is progressing.
After Wararat spoke to the police, an investigation team searched her condo in Bangkok but found no evidence to support the claim she had killed the kitten, meaning no charges could be pressed.
She is also facing another complaint from Nopparat Khamburanawit, who claims Wararat cooked up a story about how she lost one of two cats she sold her after it allegedly “ran away” from a pet clinic.
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