Increasing affluence in major urban areas of China has caused dogs and cats to gain prominence as companion pets, but the darker side of having disposable income is that wealthy Chinese are also patronizing more restaurants that openly serve cat and dog meat--often as a specialty.
Very graphic photos in the June 26 Daily Mail make it painfully clear that dog-meat eating in China is common, popular and it is not likely to stop in the near future.
The photos of cages filled with dogs waiting to be killed, chopped up and served to diners in high-end restaurants in dishes ranging from soup to steaks, and the obvious pleasure on the faces of the diners is very disturbing. Although some restaurant owners emphatically deny it, there have been wide admissions by those involved in transport that many of the dogs are pets picked up from the streets.
There are no exact statistics on the number of dogs consumed in China, but the neighboring Koreas have a similar culinary culture and also many Koreans live in China. In March 2009, the Korean Times, based in South Korea, reported that approximately 9,000 tons of dog meat is served at about 6,500 restaurants across the country annually, the Global Times reported.
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Eating dog meat in China is believed to date back thousands of years. The rich meat (often called "fragrant") is considered by some to have medicinal properties, as well as warming the body in winter months. In some provinces the dogs are beaten to death to assure the blood circulates freely through the meat.
Tens of thousands of Internet protests from all over the world and growing animal activism in China are credited with stopping the 2011 dog-meat festival which has been an annual tradition in Jinhua, China, since 1389. During the three-day annual dog-meat “carnival,” in October, up to 10,000 dogs are killed and skinned in the streets of Qianxi township. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/chinas-2011-dog-meat-festival-cancelled
NO ANIMAL WELFARE LAWS IN CHINA
China doesn't currently have any formal animal-welfare laws prohibiting the cruel treatment or killing of animals, but pet lovers' associations have sprung up to try to protect dogs and cats from inhumane treatment and from being used as food.
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On January 26, 2010, the Golden Times announced that, in a move prompted by anti-cruelty activists, legislation is being drafted to make eating cats and dogs illegal. But it could take months or a year before it actually reaches the legislature, states drafting-team leader Chang Jiwen of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. And then it is doubtful it would have little effect or enforcement for years.http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-01/27/c_13153405.htm
The manager of Caiji Dog Meat Restaurant in Guangzhou was defiant in telling the Global Times, "the proposed law is totally unfeasible here, because eating dogs and cats has been part of the Guangdong culture for so long. "I don't believe the draft could be passed, nor would I change the way we operate our restaurant." he said.