Torture Not Culture – China and the Dog and Cat Meat Trade

china dog meat

By Viv Thompson, Natural Blaze

The concept amongst many people today, that it is Asian culture to eat cat and dog, is essentially a myth. This may have been true of ancient times, but it is more of a modern day occurrence that sees approximately 10 million of dogs and 3 million cats a year, brutally tortured before they are finally killed and eaten. It is believed that torture and extreme fear increases the adrenaline rush and causes the “meat” to be tender when eaten. And so the reality is that dogs and cats are boiled alive, skinned alive, hung, limbs chopped off, and beaten to death. Death will be a release for them.

Until very recently it was believed here in the west that dogs were not farmed in China, and that most of the dogs were strays, but in 2017 large dog farms housing thousands of dogs were uncovered by the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation.

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However, the facts are that many, if not most of the dogs and cats eaten in China today, are either strays that were once family pets that have outlived their novelty attraction and find themselves dumped on the streets. Or they are stolen from the streets and sometimes even their very own back yard! And not necessarily in China either. Dogs are quite often brought in on huge lorries, carrying up to 300 to 400 dogs, all cramped into tiny cages with no food or water for days from other countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and The Phillipines. Many are already dead by the time they reach their destined slaughterhouse, having suffered horrendously along the way. Many have broken bones from being crushed and are half dead with dehydration and starvation.

A few of the dogs are lucky, as there are a growing number of animal activists in China who literally put their lives on the line by following these trucks. And at some point during the journey (often when the driver stops for a break)the police are called and it is identified that many of these trucks have known to be stolen with false number plates, or sometimes the driver is a known criminal or has no driving licence. Any opportunity to put a halt to that journey is taken by the activists, to give them a chance to feed and water the dogs, scan them for microchips and gain proof that they are stolen. And so commences the standoff, whereby they plead to the authorities with any evidence they can muster that the dogs are stolen pets, and demand their release. This can take days while the evidence for either side is produced. During this time the dogs are usually unloaded to a government compound while the two sides battle it out.

Occasionally some lucky dogs are even returned to their owners. Others if they are lucky get sent to a rescue centre. But most of them unfortunately carry on their journey to the slaughterhouse. My Facebook group, China’s Forgotten Rescues has raised thousands of pounds to save dogs from the meat trade. This was achieved by working with Chinese activists and an incredible lady named Rita Wong. Rita also writes a blog for information on the latest rescues and dedicates her life to raising awareness and saving animals.

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There are now a growing number of activists and rescue operations here in the west that are saving dogs from the meat trade, and flying them over to the UK/Europe where a new home awaits them. Another group I am involved with, The UK Action for DCMT Survivors aims to do just that.

We are also constantly trying to raise awareness for this issue in the hope that one day China will recognise the need for legislation to protect its animals.

It is not only the dog and cat meat trade either. There are many videos on Social media evidencing the cruelty that occurs in China and throughout Asia today.

· Pet Retriever battered to death in street by policeman


· Family pets stolen and poisoned /battered to death.


· Live donkey’s tied up outside of a donkey meat restaurant and battered to death with a hammer.


· A donkey thrown into a tiger enclosure in the zoo.


These are but just a few of the many recent incidents that have occurred and been recorded in China today. And so, the campaign to make China protect its animals continues.

Image: Animal Welfare Institute

Viv Thompson is a Management Development Officer in Health and Social Care-and a Human/Animal Rights activist of over 35 years, also vegetarian/vegan. Over the last few years one of the main issues she has focused on is the dog and Cat Meat Trade in Asia. With a group of friends she has helped to raise not only awareness of the DCMT but also thousands of pounds to save Dogs from the slaughterhouse and sent to a place of safety. And over the last couple of years she has joined forces with two inimitable woman, Sally Varnham and Louise Trevatt to support dog and cat rescues in South Korea. Some of these dogs are presently being adopted in the UK.

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