Activists expose dog meat industry in Shanghai, as city hosts World Dog Show

By on May 2, 2019 with 3 Comments

Shanghai is now hosting the 2019 World Dog Show, an event billed as a “joyful gathering for dog lovers and lovely dogs across the world.” Meanwhile, at restaurants just a few miles away, diners will partake of meat from dogs just as beautiful and lovable as the ones in the show.

The irony is impossible to escape, and that’s why Humane Society International is helping one of our Chinese partner groups in exposing the gruesome nature of the dog meat trade, which can even be found in major cities like Shanghai. Our Chinese colleagues have also rescued 22 lucky dogs from a slaughterhouse supplier outside Shanghai, and the animals — quite possibly stolen pets — are now at an HSI-supported shelter in China where they are being prepared for adoption.

Activists from the group, which asked to remain unnamed for security reasons, found at least three restaurants in Shanghai serving up dog meat soup for human consumption. One restaurant displayed several dog meat dishes on its menu and also advertised dog meat in its window, with a sign boasting that the meat is supplied by slaughterhouses in Xuzhou city (north of Shanghai), which is notorious for the country’s biggest dog meat processing industry.

The group located one slaughterhouse that supplied meat to the restaurant and found 22 dogs there who they rescued. Most of the dogs are small, lapdog-type breeds, the kind usually kept as pets in China. There were several clues that these dogs were likely stolen pets, including a pile of collars discarded in the corner.

The activists were able to negotiate the release of the dogs and rescue them. A video shows the dogs standing or sitting in a wire cage at the slaughterhouse, huddling together in fear. They have just witnessed other dogs being beaten to death, and are clearly terrified as they await their turn. Cut to the dogs after the rescue. They’re at the shelter where they’ve been given a full health check and treated for minor injuries, skin diseases and shock. Already they appear a happier bunch, eating, drinking water and going for walks. Some rush to the camera, wagging their tails. There is hope in their eyes.

HSI funding will support veterinary care and rehabilitation for the dogs as they are prepared for adoption. In time, the shelter will hold a special adoption event for local dog lovers. HSI will also fly a small number of the dogs to the United States to help them find loving homes and tell the world their story as part of our work to end the dog meat trade.

We couldn’t be happier for these dogs, but millions more need our help. This is an important time to shine the light on China’s dog meat trade: the infamous Yulin dog meat festival, where thousands of dogs and cats are butchered, will begin next month. Although the festival itself goes on for just a few days, it has come to symbolize, to the world, the cruelty of this trade that goes on year-round in China.

HSI, along with our Chinese partners, has been working to end China’s dog and cat meat trade for many years now, and we are calling on the Chinese government to end Yulin and this entire trade. China’s restrictive laws make it dangerous for HSI staff to be openly present at Yulin, but our amazing partner Chinese activists will be there, keeping the world’s eye trained on this shameful event.

The World Dog Show is evidence that more and more Chinese citizens now see dogs as companions and family members, and not as food. Many shun the cruelty of this trade. There are more than 91 million dogs being kept as pets in Chinese households, and the country’s pet retail market is expected to reach $36 billion by 2020. It is time for China to wake up to the fact that a booming pet care industry is of far greater benefit to its economy, and that putting an end to the dog meat trade will do wonders in enhancing its global reputation.

Urge the Chinese prime minister to end the dog and cat meat trade

Companion Animals, Humane Society International

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  1. Maria lacount says:

    Would to adopt small poodle or simular lost my loving pal Brandi due to old age would love to give love and a warm lovely home to one of these unfortionate pups. Thank you

  2. John Farnan says:

    This is not a ‘festival’, it is a euphemism for the word ‘atrocity’. If that is so — which it is, for in this sadistic atrocity of dog consumption it sanctions requisite torture prior to death for dogs — how is it ever possible for China to make the claim it is a morally civilized nation? That China allows such cruelty to be inflicted on innocent nonhuman animals only confirms how it abuses its own citizens through its totalitarian government. Basic human rights and freedoms (specifically freedom of speech) are controlled, the press and electronic media are censored, and there is apparatchik paranoia of critical opinion(s) being expressed by the body politic. These facts are just a few indicators of a government fearful of its own legitimacy. (It is a well-founded scientific fact that nonhuman animal abuse is linked to human abuse.) A morally indifferent government, fuelled by corruption through payoffs to influential bureaucrats and businessmen involved in this sordid trade in animal flesh and fur, is also abusing the citizenry it claims to serve. With no animal welfare laws to protect those who cannot speak for themselves is it any wonder that the same convenient denial of legal protection for animals becomes the rationale for the proscriptions of the CPC? Law is arbitrarily applied in China, a situational application I imagine that depends on cash bribery to look the other way for the sake of profit at the expense of life. If The Party and its cadres believe the lie of cultural relativism (non interference in the workings of other cultures) then at least an attempt should be made to believe, to trust, in the value of your own Chinese activists working on behalf of nonhuman animals. Their noble efforts trying to bring welfare and compassion to the nonhuman animals in China should be applauded and supported by the CPC. Torture is morally wrong whether it is inflicted on human or non human life. This is an absolute.

  3. John Farnan says:

    Torture, inflicted on either the human animal or the nonhuman animal, is immoral, and torture is what certain nations, specifically China and the Koreas, plus others, deem necessary for the fleeting ‘enjoyment’ of eating nonhuman animal flesh (dog and cat carrion). (Ignore, if you can, the spurious, nonsensical, unscientific, folkloric justifications for torture, that it releases palate enhancing hormones and enzymes to enhance the dining pleasure for the human gourmet.) If you incline towards a culturally relativistic stance (abandonment of morality?), if you assume a prerequisite to a meal requires the following applications then I truly believe you have a moral problem, or as is said in the literature, have moral schizophrenia or cognitive dissonance. Take your pick. Torture methods — while the nonhuman animal is alive — for obtaining culinary satisfaction for biped primates in dog (and cat) eating nations involves: hanging, beating with sticks or iron bars, boiling in oil/water, dismembering (cutting off paws and legs), skinning alive, burning alive (using slow roasting with a blowtorch, et al. If such methods to obtain sustenance and enjoy a meal are acceptable to you, well, send me to Bedlam for safety. The insanity resides outside in the dogmas of our sad world.
    Eating dog meat, from the wide evidence I have, as a food choice is mainly an Asian partiality, although not mainstream, and certainly in decline amongst the younger more educated demographic.
    The following is a posting sent to another web site, but I include it here since readers might find the information relevant to what I have said above on cognitive dissonance.
    Last year was the Year of the Dog in China. This is what the website Chinese Astrology: 2018 Horoscope, Zodiac Signs, Compatibility, Calendar, Auspicious Days, Element ( claims: If you are born in a Year of the Dog you possess the best traits of human nature. According to the website you are ‘honest, friendly, faithful, loyal, smart, straightforward, and have a strong sense of responsibility.’ Excuse me? For pure hypocrisy, and euphemistic nonsense, this simply reeks of the blood of tortured dogs (and cats). When will the CPC live up to its moral ideal and serve its citizens, especially its Chinese activists who are working tirelessly and against great odds (corrupt authorities and ‘businesses’) to bring an end to this despicable trade in nonhuman life? Take any of the self-serving epithets claimed by those born in a Year of the Dog and swallow the lie you claim for yourself while the bloody stain of the dog and cat meat trade continues to be condoned in China. If your claims of noninterference in the internal matters of a country (cultural relativism sophistry) hold any value, which they do not when it comes to torture, then at least listen to your own Chinese activists. Truth is not relative. For the sake of the nonhumans born in your country please enact and enforce animal welfare laws in China and show compassion and empathy to those who cannot speak for themselves. The foot-binding of women in China was abolished long ago. Now abolish the abomination, the moral stain of the dog and cat meat trade/’festival’. “Morality demands a wider horizon of possibilities than any existing society can supply. It is not just a matter of customs but of spiritual insights and ideals. Its field of reference is the world.” Mary Midgley. Can’t We Make Moral Judgements? Bloomsbury, 2017, p. 91.
    If you cannot restrain yourself from eating dogs and cats for your nutritional demands at least kill them humanely, an oxymoron if there ever was one. You owe them this minimum amount of compassion. If you want to go even further, show empathy to nonhuman life by changing your diet to vegetarian, or better vegan.
    *“The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo.”* Dr. Albert Schweitzer


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