Will China Ever Stop Eating Dogs

Between 10 and 20 million dogs are thought to be killed in China each year for human consumption. [144] These extrapolations from industry figures on meat quantity to an estimated number of dogs killed, however, are not official estimates. [145]

The city of Shenzhen is the only place in mainland China where eating dog meat is illegal, and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has never published quarantine guidelines for killing dogs.


[147] Dog commercial slaughter and sale were outlawed across the board in China in 2020. [61]

Chinese people have been consuming dog meat from at least 500 BCE, and possibly even earlier. According to certain theories, wolves in southern China may have been tamed for use as a meat supply. [148] Dog meat was mentioned by Mencius (372289 BCE) as a dietary meat that could be consumed. [149] The meat, which was said to have medicinal qualities and had been popular in northern China during the winter since it was assumed to elevate body temperature after intake and encourage warming, was first mentioned in the early 2000s. [150] [151] Dogs could be eaten as a last resort food source in times of food scarcity (such as during times of war), according to historical sources. [152]

The amount of dog eating in China today varies by location. The northern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning as well as Guangdong, Yunnan, and Guangxi have the highest prevalence of it. [153] Dogs are raised on ranches in Southern China, where dog meat was reportedly frequently offered in restaurants in 2010. [154] Chinese internet users and the Chinese police stopped trucks carrying caged dogs in 2012 before they could be butchered in towns like Chongqing and Kunming. [155]

In Yulin, Guangxi, there has been an annual festival where dog meat is consumed since 2009. (purportedly a celebration of the summer solstice). The festival was described as a commercial event hosted by eateries and the general public in a 2014 statement by the local government that distanced itself from it. [157] In 2011, there were 10 days of the festival, and 15,000 dogs were eaten. [158] Despite mounting domestic and international pressure to put an end to the celebration, estimates of the number of dogs consumed in 2015 ranged from higher than 10,000[159][160] to lower than 1,000. [161] [162] Despite protesters’ claims that some of the dogs bought for slaughter and food are stray or stolen pets, festival organizers claim that only dogs bred especially for consumption are utilized. [163] [164] Some of the dogs at the festival are said to have been tortured, burned, or cooked alive[165] in the mistaken notion that the flesh would taste better with more adrenaline coursing through the dog’s body. [159] [163] However, according to some reports, since 2015, there hasn’t been much proof of these activities. [162][161]

Eight canines (and their two cages) went for 1,150 yuan ($185) and six puppies for 1,200 yuan prior to the 2014 festival.

[166] A protester paid 7,000 yuan ($1,100; 710) to purchase 100 dogs prior to the 2015 event. [160] The city, according to the animal rights NGO Best Volunteer Centre, has more than 100 slaughterhouses that kill between 30 and 100 dogs per day. According to the Yulin Centre for Animal Disease Control and Prevention, there are only eight dog slaughterhouses in the city, and during the Yulin festival, this number rises to nearly 2,000 canines. [167] A number of campaigns have been launched to end the holiday, with the first one apparently beginning among residents in China. [162] A campaign to stop the festival in 2016 gathered 11 million signatures nationwide. [168] On Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, more than 3 million individuals have also signed petitions opposing it. [159] Prior to the 2014 event, it was prohibited for medical professionals to consume dog meat there, and eateries in the area that served it were required to cover the term “dog” on their menus and notices. [157] According to reports from 2014 and 2016, the holiday is not well-liked by the majority of Chinese people online and offline. [169][170][171]

The establishment of the Chinese Companion Animal Protection Network gave the movement against eating cat and dog meat more momentum (CCAPN). CCAPN started organizing demonstrations against the consumption of dog and cat meat in 2006, starting in Guangzhou and continuing in more than ten additional cities as a result of a favorable response from the general people. It has since grown to include more than 40 member societies. [172] In order to prevent offending tourists from various countries where the use of dog meat is frowned upon, officials ordered dog meat to be removed from the menu at the 112 official Olympic eateries before to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. [173] A draft law banning the consumption of dog meat was put forth in 2010. [174] Its initial draft proposal was presented in 2010 with the goal of protecting animals from abuse. Although there were expectations that the law would be enforced,[175] it featured a provision that could result in a person being imprisoned for up to 15 days for eating dog meat. [174]

How frequently is Chinese dog eaten?


The annual dog meat festival of China is now taking place in Yulin, in the southwest. This year, however, the fair goes on despite a government initiative to improve animal welfare and lower the risks connected with live animal markets and against the backdrop of a coronavirus pandemic. Activists anticipate that this year’s Yulin dog meat festival will mark the celebration’s final iteration as laws and attitudes change.

The inaugural 10-day fair commemorating the summer solstice took place in 2009. Many of the tens of thousands of visitors who come here each year choose live dogs from crowded cages to cook and eat. Additionally available are cat meat, fresh lychee fruit, and alcohol.

Certain regions of China have long held the belief that eating dog flesh will bring good health and fortune, but the practice is extremely insulting to both many people outside of China and much of the rest of the globe.

Du Yufeng, a seasoned Chinese animal rights activist who has been in Yulin since the fair’s opening over the weekend, said, “This year’s dog meat festival is the same as previously, with relatively few [people] wearing masks.”

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, she expressed her desire that the government will outlaw the consumption of pets like dogs and cats.

For eight years, Du, the founder of the Bo Ai Animal Protection Center in the Sichuan Province of China, has fought against the Yulin festival. She made her annual visit to the Guangxi Province Public Complaints and Proposals Administration with six other activists and diligently delivered a petition asking the province administration to outlaw pet slaughter for the sake of food safety.

Changing rules

Following the discovery of a “wet market” in the central city of Wuhan as the likely source of the COVID-19 outbreak there, China put a temporary ban on the commerce and consumption of wild animals in late February. Many scientists think the market conditions allowed the lethal virus to spread from bats to people via a still unnamed third species.

Live animals are kept in close quarters with people at these marketplaces and frequently killed right after the customer makes a purchase.

The national government is still enacting regulations that are anticipated to permanently impose new limits on the trade in and consumption of wild animals, and the temporary nationwide ban on eating wild animals is still in effect.

The Agriculture Ministry has changed the classification of dogs from livestock to companion animals. Du and other proponents of animal rights concur that this should be taken to mean that eating dog meat is prohibited.

Although the national government hasn’t yet made it clear that eating dog meat is forbidden, the southern Guangdong province cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai have recently done so. They were the first Chinese cities to outlaw the practice in April.

Changing attitudes

For the benefit of both animal welfare and food safety, the vast majority of Chinese people oppose eating dog meat and favor ending the Yulin festival.

On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media network, topics like “refuse to consume companion animals” and “cancel Yulin dog meat festival” have become popular.

One message asks, “Please end this custom and let’s bring about change together.” Another commenter commented, “This is one of the main reasons why foreign countries criticize China, and it is dreadful and truewe can’t dispute it.

Some Weibo users, however, have supported the practice, alleging that Westerners are plotting to link China to the coronavirus and other world ills.

In response to the recent COVID-19 epidemic in Beijing, which some Chinese scientists believe may have been caused by salmon imported from Europe, one poster argued that “dog meat is quite safe, far safer than salmon.” Others just state that it is a respected practice and say things like, “This is our custom, not your business.”

Du declared, “This festival is only a breeding ground for another viral outbreak.” She claimed she approached local officials and citizens, requesting an explanation for their failure to draw any lessons from the current pandemic. The folks she spoke with, according to her, just maintained they weren’t breaking any laws in response.

During the Yulin fair this year, Du and her fellow campaigners paid about $4,200 to purchase 30 dogs and prevent their murder.

According to Li of the Humane Society, “I do hope Yulin will reform, not just for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its citizens.” I hope that happens within five years. “It is vitally important that China starts legislating a national law to outlaw the dog meat industry.”

At the Yulin festival last year, stew reportedly required the slaughter of almost 3,000 dogs. According to the animal rights organization Animals Asia, 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are reportedly killed for meat each year in China alone.

How many dogs are eaten each year in China?

The agricultural ministry today released a draft regulation that would outlaw the consumption of dog meat, indicating that the Chinese government is ready to put an end to the practice.

Chinese officials singled out dogs as being prohibited in a draft “white list of animals approved to be bred for meat, citing the “development of human civilisation as well as growing public concern over animal welfare and avoidance of disease transmission from animals to humans.

Dogs were described by the ministry as “unique companion animals and ones that are not recognized globally as livestock.”

Animal welfare organizations around the world are encouraged by the city of Shenzhen’s recent approval of the first-ever mainland China ban on the consumption of dog and cat meat. This action raises the possibility that other regions of the nation could soon follow suit. Even more is now included in the revised draft policy.

The fact that most Chinese people don’t eat dogs and cats and want a stop to the theft of their companion animals for a meat trade that only a small portion of the population participates in “signals a major shift,” according to Higgins.

Between 10 and 20 million dogs are thought to be killed in China each year for their flesh, according to HSI, while 4 million cats are thought to be slain annually, according to Animals Asia.

According to Higgins, the majority of these animals were stolen and not grown in captive breeding facilities.

She continued, “Not only does it result in severe animal misery, but it is also virtually totally supported by criminality and, perhaps most importantly at the moment, it presents an indisputable hazard to human health due to the possibility of diseases like rabies and cholera.

If the policy is not changed after a public comment period that runs through May 8, certain wildlife species that are now prohibited from being farmed under animal husbandry rules have been added to the new agricultural ministry list.

A list of wildlife species that are anticipated to be authorized as farm-raised species after China’s central government relaxes a restriction on the trade in wildlife includes deer, game birds, along with mink, two types of foxes, and other creatures.

The Covid-19 outbreak, which is mostly believed to have its origins in the legal or illegal wildlife supply chain, prompted the interim wildlife trade restriction, which was put in place starting in late January.

Is it forbidden to kill dogs in China?

Many of the fearful dogs and cats are hurt or suffering from broken limbs when they eventually arrive in China’s infamous meat markets, often after days of journey. Everyone is fatigued and dehydrated. Others don’t even make it through the journey. However, their pain has only begun.

When the terrified animals arrive at the meat markets, they are made to witness in horror as other animals are bludgeoned to death in front of them. In order to remove their skins, dogs and cats are occasionally dropped into boiling water while still alive. Animals Asia’s specialized dog and cat welfare team in China is working hard to put an end to the unbelievable brutality and cruelty that dogs and cats are subjected to in this country.

Surprisingly, China has no regulations governing animal slaughter other than those pertaining to food safety and hygiene, which safeguard humans. This abuse is authorized.

How many dogs are killed in China every year?

In Asia, an estimated 30 million dogs are killed annually for human food in a harsh trade that frequently involves criminal activities and atrocious animal abuse. Around 5 million dogs are killed in Viet Nam, 10-20 million in China, 2 million in South Korea, 1 million in Indonesia, and about 80,000 in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

Since the dog meat trade is completely uncontrolled and frequently against the law, it is impossible to collect accurate statistics.

What countries are involved?

China, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Nagaland in northern India are the countries with the largest markets for dog meat. A large number of dogs are stolen or abducted off the streets, transported over great distances, and mercilessly butchered in this well-organized trade. Dogs are also aggressively raised for the meat industry in appallingly deplorable circumstances in South Korea.

There are reports that some farmers in isolated areas of Switzerland kill dogs for personal consumption, but nothing compares to the sheer magnitude of the trade across Asia. Dogs are known to be consumed in some African nations, including Ghana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria.

Is it true that some dogs are stolen pets?

The bulk of dogs killed in most Asian nations are either stray dogs taken from the streets or family pets taken from gardens and homes. Dog and cat burglars sell the animals to traders and restaurant owners using a variety of techniques, including poison. It is extremely normal to see dogs still wearing their collars on trucks going to slaughterhouses. South Korea is an exception to this rule, as most dogs are born and kept on farms in a never-ending cycle of breeding; nevertheless, some are stolen or abandoned pets, animals raised for the pet trade, or animals raised for breeding but not sold as puppies.

The majority of dogs in South Korea are born on farms in a never-ending cycle of breeding, however some are either stolen or abandoned pets or are reared for the pet trade but are not sold as puppies.

Do the dogs suffer?

The trade in dog meat is notorious for its severe animal suffering. Hundreds of animals are pushed onto the backs of trucks, their cages packed so tightly that they are unable to move. In Vietnam, it is standard practice to force-feed dogs with a tube down their throats to increase their weight before slaughtering them. Usually sick and injured, dogs are driven for days or weeks at a time. Many of them pass away long before they arrive from asphyxia, thirst, or heatstroke.

On South Korean meat farms, dogs are housed in cramped, sterile metal cages that are left outside in the weather with only the bare minimum of food, water, and shelter to keep them alive. The shocking conditions that HSI has revealed are rife with illness and mental discomfort, and many of the dogs exhibit blatant symptoms of illness, despair, severe starvation, and strange behavior.

All of these dogs will eventually be found in a market, a restaurant, or a slaughterhouse. They can be put to death in a variety of ways, with electrocution being the most popular in South Korea, while hanging and beating are also frequent. Dogs in China and Vietnam are typically hanged or less frequently thrown aware into big drums of boiling water after being beaten to death with a metal pipe and bleeding out from a cut to the throat or groin. In certain instances, the treatment of the animal prior to slaughter is done on purpose with cruelty due to the mistaken notion that tormenting a dog prior to death produces meat that tastes better and is higher in adrenaline.

Is dog meat widely eaten and popular?

According to 2016 opinion surveys, the majority of people in China do not consume dog meat, with 69.5 percent having never done so. It is not a staple of traditional Chinese cuisine. Dog meat is vehemently opposed by a rising animal protection movement in the nation, and there are frequent and well-recorded violent confrontations between dog thieves and enraged dog owners. A legislative petition to outlaw the execution of dogs and cats received nearly 9 million signatures from Chinese citizens in 2015, and more than 100,000 people showed up in a sizable rally in Dalian.

A South Korean survey conducted in 2014 found that while slightly more than half of those surveyed do consume dog meat, the vast majority (95 percent of female respondents and 88 percent of male respondents) do so only seldom. Older generations are more prone to eat dog meat because to believed health benefits, especially during the “Younger South Koreans are far more likely to avoid the Boknal days of summer. According to surveys, 60.5% of people under 30 had never eaten dog meat. The most common justification given by people under 30 who consume dog is peer pressure “because family members consume it. Dog meat consumption is diminishing, but society still generally accepts that others have the right to consume it.

What are the human health risks?

The trade in dog meat poses a serious risk to public health and has been connected to cholera, rabies, and trichinellosis outbreaks. According to the World Health Organization, eating dog meat doubles your chance of getting cholera, and recent large-scale outbreaks in Viet Nam were directly related to this. In China, Viet Nam, and Indonesia, rabies, which kills over 39,000 people in Asia each year, has been discovered in dogs trafficked for human food.