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Pit Bulls and Dog Fighting on the Rise in Beijing (Part II)

Pit Bulls are being used for dog fighting in the Chinese capital city of Beijing, and this brutal and atavistic “blood sport” is becoming big business for a syndicated underground ring. Fueled by gambling, organized events are held openly, with as much as $32,000 (200,000 yuan) being wagered per fight, according to a recent investigative report by The Beijing News.

Three fights are held a day, and each fight attracts dozens of gamblers. The Chinese-language paper stated that the betting is between $150 to $3,000 (1,000 - $20,000 yuan) per fight. Owners of the dogs have to put up a deposit of thousands to tens of thousands of yuan before a fight.

The dogs are not allowed to withdraw even if they are not in a good condition or are injured, according to the report; and an owner cannot have the deposit back if he or she withdraws from a fight. A dog loses if it gives up fighting or biting back after the judge finishes counting from 1 to 20. A dog also loses if it is mortally wounded. A gambler is able to double his bet if the dog he chooses wins, the Beijing News reports..

Unlike American dog fighters, who consider breeding and raising Pit Bulls with certain bloodlines as “bragging rights” that increase the price of their pups, the dogs fought in Beijing are bought from the local dog market and are therefore completely disposable.

Beijing's dogfight market has just developed, said a man surnamed Zhao, who owns five Pit Bulls he uses for fighting. "The amount of the bets are still small and the dogs are not particularly strong," he says.  Zhao believes dog owners should buy equipment to better train their dogs. He told the Beijing News reporter that he has treadmills for his dogs.

He evaluated the current dogfight market, saying dogs in Beijing's market are less competitive than those from other provinces.

He pointed out that, “…some owners cheat, putting anesthetic on their dogs to make them immune to pain in a fight." He added that some owners give the injured dogs medication to make them fight again.

For those who become injured and weak, owners may abandon them or even kill and cook them as meat. Only those who perform well in these inhumane arenas are kept as “pets” to be fought again.


It is unclear from this report whether all the dogs are locally bred or whether some may be imported from other areas. But the dogs shown in the photos taken at the scene of a Beijing dog fighting operation (below) are identical to those which fill the majority of homeless-pet Internet sites all over the United States.

Should this report and the following photos cause alarm in idealists involved in transporting Pit Bulls from American and other animal shelters as “rescue” operations?

With the failure of law enforcement in many countries to consider animal fighting a crime worth addressing, the stakes in dog fighting are rising all over the world, and so is interest in Pit Bulls, the dogs most often exploited for this purpose.


Read also: 

Puppy Mills in Beijing: “Good Chance Puppy Will Die Within Days” (Part 1)


The Shanghaiist and WantChinaTimes provided English translations of this report.


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