Animal Cruelty in China

12 Feb

In some areas in Asia, including China, cats and dogs are commonly considered to be food. Visitors of China have said that they have been able to walk through a market and choose the cat or dog they want to eat and the market trader will skin it alive and boil it for them. An estimated 10-20 million dogs are killed slowly and violently every year in China as well as four million cats.

Recently nine hundred dogs were rescued by Chinese activists from dog meat traders to stop them being slaughtered and killed for human consumption. One of the most shocking realisations of this barbaric trade is the fact that many of the dogs held captive were stolen family pets, such as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds which were still wearing their collars and tags.

Dogs and cats are being killed everyday by being bashed around in small cages in trucks or by being denied food and water before being skinned alive in front of other dogs and cats to shock them and increase their fear. The workers often throw the cages out of the trucks from varying heights which can result in breaking the bones of the cats and dogs.

These animals are not just killed for their meat, they are also killed for their fur resulting in a large number of fur farms in China. The animals are still alive when they are hung by their legs and tails and are skinned for their fur. Workers will stamp on the animals heads or necks if they kick too much or make it too hard for the workers to skin them alive. Once the animals have been skinned the workers will throw their naked bodies onto a pile of animals who have already been skinned, some of whom are still alive and and in great pain.

However, it is not just cats and dogs that are abused in China, many other species also face animal cruelty. Animal welfare groups have noticed widespread abuse in Chinese zoos and wildlife parks. This abuse includes animals being neglected and beaten, and the illegal sale of soup or wine which is made from the bones of endangered tigers. It has also been found that bears within Chinese zoos are often whipped and beaten with sticks, elephants are prodded with metal hooks, and lions and tigers are declawed, causing them chronic pain. Some lions have also been found to have had all their teeth removed for security reasons and to minimise the risk to workers. Recently, eleven rare Siberian tigers died at a wildlife park in the northeast of China. Animal welfare groups stated that the death of these tigers may be due to the zoo selling tiger skin and bones on the black market. Small animals such as tiny turtles, lizards and fish have been found to be kept inside keyrings to amuse tourists. The animals are kept alive in the keyrings by crystalized oxygen and nutrients which apparently last for two months. However the animals have no room to swim or move causing them huge amounts of distress.

There are currently no strict laws or regulations against animal cruelty in China, in fact in certain regions such as Fuzhou, dog control officers have the power to kill any dogs seen unaccompanied by an owner. There are also no charities supported by governments such as the RSPCA to monitor and keep track of levels of animal cruelty. However, there is a growing number of animal welfare supporters and petitions to stop animal cruelty which leads to increasing hope to put a stop to cruelty to animals in China.

Just Joey, Animal abuse in China, Joey’s Corner. [Blog] 27/02/2013 Available at [Accessed 12/02/2014]

Change (2013) Petitioning Chinese President Xi Jinping, Stop Horrific Dog Meat Trade!!! Demand China Make Animal Cruelty Laws!!! [Online] Available at [Accessed 12/02/2014]

People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (2013) China’s Shocking Fur Trade [Online] Available at [Accessed 12/02/2014]

Looking-Glass News, Kim Cooling (2006) The Chinese Year of the Dog [Online] Available at [Accessed 12/02/2014]

Donovan, T. (2010) ‘China Zoo Cruelty, Abuse Crackdown: Facilities Face Closure For Animal Performances, Wildlife Product Sales And Inadequate Food & Shelter‘. Huffington Post [Online] 27/10. Available at [Accessed 12/02/2014]

Donovan, T. (2010) ‘Chinese Zoos Routinely Beat And Abuse Performing Animals, Animals Asia Foundation Reports‘. Huffington Post [Online] 09/08. Available at [Accessed 12/02/2014]

Wells, A. (2013) ‘Unbelievable cruelty: LIVE animals kept inside keyrings to ‘amuse’ tourists in China‘. Daily Star [Online] 06/11. Available at [Accessed 12/02/2014]


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