Statement on dog stealing for meat market

A nationwide underground chain exists to supply a regional habit of eating dogs and cats, from stealing the animals and transporting them to killing and eating them. Media reports state: ‘As the weather gets colder, dogs in villages are stolen due to the increased dog meat consumption in Guangdong Province.’ This chain has not been broken by the government, and any action against this terrible practice is usually taken by animal protection groups and individuals who have to fight with whatever limited power they have. This led to the death of a resident of outer Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, on the 21st of January, when he was run over and killed by a dog-stealing gang while trying to stop a van full of stolen dogs.

ACTAsia for Animals strongly condemns the dog and cat meat industry and the criminal activities evolving around it, and appeals to the government to take measures to bring it to a halt. Due to the lack of support from laws and local authorities, the theft and sale of dogs and cats have become increasingly widespread. Some gangs even dare to enter communities and villages in broad daylight to catch animals.

New legislation and enforcement of these laws are needed to stop the eating of dogs and cats, as a lack of any legal recourse in the whole chain has created an industry that has become a cancer in society. It has caused a lot of public anger and social disharmony – there have been several direct confrontations between animal protection groups and truck drivers. We therefore hope that the government will pass legislation to stop the sale and consumption of dogs and cats, to break this chain of violence.

ACTAsia urges the following:

  1. The Ministry of Agriculture should pass regulations immediately to stop Livestock and Vet Stations at all levels from issuing ‘disease-free’ certificates to dogs and cats being transported, to prevent so called ‘legal’ dog and cat meat from turning up in markets.
  2. Animal health regulators at all levels should coordinate with health management departments to do thorough investigations of restaurants and markets that sell dog and cat meat.
  3. The Ministry of Agriculture should coordinate with transport departments to stop the inter-provincial dog and cat trade, to block the main source of dogs and cats.
  4. The Bureau of Public Security should crack down on dog and cat stealing to protect the safety of humans and animals.
  5. The Ministry of Health should promote civilised and healthy eating habits and urge the public to stop eating dogs and cats.
  6. Animal protection laws should be urgently passed in China. This will help to prevent the suffering of dogs and cats during transport, sale and inhumane slaughter for meat.

Statement in Chinese (pdf)