Dog meat is believed to be a TB medicine in Andizhan
Owners of dogs in Andizhan keep their pets at home now. Locals say that dogs, pets and strays alike, disappear because they are eaten. Not because someone is starving or because of quaint gastronomical preferences. There is the widespread opinion in Uzbekistan that dog meat is a panacea.
"I bought three pups only to have them stolen, one after another," Dilmurad Khamidov of Andizhan said. "We have several ex-prisoners living in the mahallja here. I hear they are they ones who laid their hand on my pups and ate them."
Khamidov heard that dog meat is the best medicine for TB that also prevents colds.
"I've had TB for six years," to quote one Shukhrat Ismailov of Andizhan. "Complete recovery requires six months (if I'm lucky) or the whole year in hospitals. I do not have the money for that. Instead, I have three children to feed. That's why I wasted but 15 days in hospital. No more. We catch dogs and eat them now, me and my pals. Allah be praised, I'm getting better now."
Ismailov's neighbors say that there is lots of TB around but not everybody can afford treatment. There is the widespread opinion, however, that dog meat helps...
Ferghana.Ru approached the Andizhan TB Center and was told that dog meat did help some but was anything but an ultimate cure.
"That's plain superstition. Had dog meat been good for TB, our Center would not have been needed in the first place," Doctor G. Abdurakhmanov said. "It takes serious treatment to cure TB. There are special medications and methods, you know. This so called "popular medicine" won't do. When the malady has set, others may contract it."
Specialists blame TB proliferation on these and likewise attempts at self-cure.
Ex-prisoners say, by the way, that in Uzbekistan TB is contracted precisely in jails.
"Whoever served his or her time in prison has it," one Sabirzhan Khakimov said. "That's how TB spreads through mahalljas. That's why there are no dogs to be seen there nowadays."
Vet Ziyavuddin Alimov says that the Shar'ah Law forbids dog meat eating. Moreover, the eating of strays spreads hydrophobia. The locals say that the authorities should take measures - and hope that measures will be taken.