THE DOG MEAT INDUSTRY
China is the world's largest dog meat market.
Every day in China, 30,000 dogs perish in the thriving dog meat industry.
It is a common misconception that dogs are only eaten in China during the well documented Yulin Festival. Unfortunately, the dog meat industry is widespread all over China and dogs are killed every single day to supply the constant demand from dog meat restaurants.
The scale of the dog meat industry is difficult to comprehend. Dogs are bought and sold by weight and the cost per pound of weight is between $1.90 - $2.30.
In 2019 an outbreak of African swine fever decimated one quarter of the world's pig supply which subsequently drove up the price of pork considerably. In turn making dog meat a much cheaper and viable meat source for venders to sell.
One of the largest slaughterhouses in Changchun, the Wang Ting slaughterhouse has been functioning for over 10 years, killing 10,000 dogs a month. With a whole fleet of trucks to meet their supply needs, and a truck can hold anything from a small number of dogs up to 1000 + dogs on a single truck.
Trucks packed full of dogs arrive all day long, often these dogs have been travelling for days in extreme weather conditions with no stops for water, food, or any regard for their welfare. The use of metal clamps for loading the dogs is commonplace. The dogs are understandably terrified, and the workers are at risk of attack from dogs when handling them. The workers are also fearful of contracting rabies.
The large scale slaughterhouses do not typically torture the dogs as it's not economically viable for them, as time is of the essence. Torturing dogs has been documented on many occasions and is more pervasive in smaller butchers, restaurants, festivals and within households. Sadly when torturing does occur, it is because they believe that the adrenaline released in response to the pain, will make the meat more tender. Large slaughterhouses have so many dogs to kill and process that they don't have time to prolong the death with torturing. However dog still suffer immeasurably before they are killed due to the rough handling and injuries they sustain at the hands of the slaughterhouse staff.
There is some debate over where the abundance of dogs comes from to supply the industry. Many people believe most of the dogs are stolen from their owners and although it is true that some dogs are stolen, it is not the main means of supply to the industry. Most dogs are in fact overspill from breeders who cannot sell their dogs, this explains the large number of pedigree dog breeds found at the markets and slaughterhouse. The remaining dogs are stray dogs rounded up from the streets, stolen dogs and sadly even owners selling their pets directly to the slaughterhouse trucks when they are no longer wanted or they incur health issues the owners do not want to deal with.
The demand for dog meat is driven by many superstitions and unfounded beliefs that eating dog meat brings health benefits or medicinal properties. These beliefs exist even though the dogs are housed and killed in what can only be described as squalor and the dogs are often disease ridden at the time of slaughter. The filthy conditions can be seen in most footage of slaughterhouses in China with dogs killed on the blood covered floors and no protocol for hygiene is enforced.
Dogs have been eaten in China for thousands of years and it continues to this day, withstanding outcry, and opposition from around the world and even a growing number of pet lovers and activists within China.
Earlier this year there were some positive signs of change when Chinese authorities admitted dogs and cats should be treated as pets and not considered to be livestock.
Shenzhen even became the first Chinese City to officially ban the consumption of dog meat followed by a further ban in the city of Zhuhai. However this is yet to be promulgated in the rest of China and make any impact on the dog meat trade