An Introduction to the Cat and Dog Meat Trade in China
Dog meat is sometimes called “fragrant meat” (香肉 xiāng ròu) or “mutton of the earth” (地羊 dì yáng) in Mandarin Chinese and “3–6 fragrant meat” (Chinese: 三六香肉; Cantonese Yale: sàam luhk hèung yuhk) in Cantonese (3 plus 6 is 9 and the words “nine” and “dog” have close pronunciation. In Mandarin, “nine” and “dog” are pronounced differently).
In modern times, the extent of dog consumption in China varies by region, most prevalent in Guangdong, Yunnan and Guangxi, as well as the northern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning. It is still common to find dog meat served in restaurants in Southern China, where dogs are specially raised on farms. However, there are instances of finding stolen pet meat on menus. Chinese netizens and the Chinese police intercepted trucks transporting caged dogs to be slaughtered in localities such as Chongqing and Kunming. In 2014, 11 people in the Hunan province were sentenced to prison for allegedly poisoning over 1,000 dogs and selling the poisonous meat to restaurants.
The movement against the consumption of cat and dog meat was given added impetus by the formation of the Chinese Companion Animal Protection Network (CCAPN). Expanded to more than 40 member societies, CCAPN in 2006 began organizing protests against eating dogs and cat, starting in Guangzhou and following up in more than ten other cities with a positive response from the public. Before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, officials ordered dog meat to be taken off the menu at its 112 official Olympic restaurants to avoid offending visitors from various nations who might have been concerned by the offering of dog meat.
In 2010, draft legislation was proposed to prohibit the consumption of dog meat. The legislation, however, was not expected to be enforced, making the consumption of dog meat illegal if it passed. In 2010, the first draft proposal of the legislation was introduced, with the rationale to protect animals from maltreatment. The legislation includes a measure to jail people for up to 15 days for eating dog meat. However, certain cultural food festivals continue to promote the meat. For example, in 2014, 10,000 dogs were killed for the Yulin dog eating festival.
As of the early 21st Century, dog meat consumption is declining or disappearing. In 2014, dog meat sales decreased by a third compared to 2013. It was reported that in 2015, one of the most popular restaurants in Guangzhou serving dog meat was closed after the local government tightened regulations; the restaurant had served dog meat dishes since 1963. Other restaurants that served dog and cat meat dishes in the Yuancun and Panyu districts also stopped serving these in 2015.‘The Yulin Dog Meat Festival’
Since 2009, Yulin, Guangxi has held an annual festival of eating dog meat. This purportedly celebrates the summer solstice, however, in 2014, the municipal government published a statement that the festival is not a cultural tradition, rather, a commercial event held by restaurants and the public. Various dog meat dishes (and more recently, cats) are eaten, washed down by lychees wine. The festival in 2011 spanned 10 days, during which 15,000 dogs were consumed. Estimates of the number of dogs eaten during the festival range between 10 and 15 thousand. Festival organisers say that only dogs bred specifically for consumption are used, however, there are claims that some of the dogs purchased for slaughter and consumption are strays or stolen pets, as evidenced by their wearing collars. Some of the dogs eaten at the festival are burnt or boiled alive and there are reports that the dogs are sometimes clubbed or beaten to death in the belief that the increased adrenalin circulating in the dog’s body adds to the flavour of the meat.
At the 2015 festival, there were long queues outside large (300-seat) eateries which sold the dog meat for around £4 (€5.60) per kilogram. Prior to the 2014 festival, eight dogs (and their two cages) sold for 1,150 yuan ($185) and six puppies for 1,200 yuan. Prior to the 2015 festival, a protester bought 100 dogs for 7,000 yuan ($1,100; £710). The animal rights NGO Best Volunteer Centre claims the city has more than 100 slaughterhouses, processing between 30 and 100 dogs a day. However, the Yulin Centre for Animal Disease Control and Prevention claims the city has only eight dog slaughterhouses selling approximately 200 dogs, although this increases to about 2,000 dogs during the Yulin festival.
There are several campaigns to stop the festival; more than 3,000,000 people have signed petitions against it on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) and a petition to stop the festival (addressed to the Chinese Minister of Agriculture, Chen Wu) reads “Do the humane thing by saying no to this festival and save the lives of countless dogs that will fall victim to this event — an event that will butcher, skin alive, beat to death, etc., thousands of innocent dogs.” Prior to the 2014 festival, doctors and nurses staff were ordered not to eat dog meat there, and local restaurants serving dog meat were ordered to cover the word “dog” on their signs and notices.
PICTURES FROM YULIN (click to enlarge)
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News about China’s dog meat trade
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Resources in the struggle to end China’s dog and cat meat trade
During my most recent trip to Yulin, I sat down to have tea with five dog meat traders. I asked them if they wanted their children to step into their shoes. They answered a resounding “No.” Their children were ashamed of their parents’ profession. The 19-year-old son of one trader asked: “Why are you doing this, out of all the jobs out there?” It is a question resounding throughout China — and the authorities need to listen.Peter Li Special to CNN: Friend or food? Dog meat trade divides ChinaVIDEO GALLERY
Dining on Dogs in Yulin: VICE Reports (Part 1/2)
Southern China has always had a tradition of dining on dogs — people from other parts of the country even joke that Southerners will eat anything with legs but the dinner table. But despite becoming more prosperous in the 1990s, Yulin has maintained the unique tradition of holding a canine banquet every summer. Animal rights activists across China and the rest of the globe have increasingly condemned the Dog Meat Festival, calling for an immediate stop to eating man’s best friend. They say the dog meat trade is illegal, unregulated, and cruel. Many claim that numerous dogs that end up in cooking pots are stolen pets or diseased strays.
Dining on Dogs in Yulin: VICE Reports (Part 2/2)
Southern China has always had a tradition of dining on dogs — people from other parts of the country even joke that Southerners will eat anything with legs but the dinner table. But despite becoming more prosperous in the 1990s, Yulin has maintained the unique tradition of holding a canine banquet every summer. Animal rights activists across China and the rest of the globe have increasingly condemned the Dog Meat Festival, calling for an immediate stop to eating man’s best friend. They say the dog meat trade is illegal, unregulated, and cruel. Many claim that numerous dogs that end up in cooking pots are stolen pets or diseased strays.Error: The video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBwz_f3TWbg) couldn't be embedded.
Dog Meat Slaughter China
China dog factory dog meat company.Error: The video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbfakStnlZk) couldn't be embedded.
Inside the Barbaric Dog Meat Trade in China (Part 1/6)
Bludgeoned with a sledgehammer and not killed with just one blow but repeatedly beaten, their throat cut and bled out. Each dog is forced to watch the next as they bleed to death. This is part 1 of 6 parts; you may find the links to the other parts on the first video.Error: The video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD4yNiUV3Yo) couldn't be embedded.
China’s Dog Meat Trade: Unbelievable Reality