171 Dogs Rescued As Chinese Police Raid Illegal Dog Meat Slaughterhouse That Includes Stolen Pets
As one lady searched for her lost canine companion, she had no idea she would end up saving nearly 200 stolen dogs from the dog meat trade.
On Sunday, November 4th, police in Chengdu, China, raided an illegal dog meat slaughterhouse and sent all 171 dogs to the Sichuan Qiming Small Animal Protection Center for health checks and rehab.
Many of the rescued dogs are clearly stolen pets. Steps will now be taken to re-unite them with their guardians and find them forever homes.
On arrival to the slaughterhouse, police found piles of dead dogs stacked high in a refrigerated room. The slaughterhouse was unable to produce a permit for their sickening activities, five workers were arrested.
Animals Asia has been assisting Qiming as they tackle the huge task of caring for 171 newly rescued dogs, by providing vaccinations, testing kits for infectious diseases, and three tonnes of dog food.
Animals Asia Cat and Dog Welfare Director, Irene Feng said in a statement, “the swift and tough crackdown by the Chengdu police sends a strong message to dog thieves and illegal butchers that they are not above the law. Their cruel trade is breaking hearts as they steal deeply loved companion animals, and their complete lack of regard for laws and hygiene make them a serious threat to wider public health.”
The media has reported that the illegal slaughterhouse was discovered as a local woman searched for her lost Belgian Malinois.
Mrs. Peng traveled to Jianyang City and was told of a slaughterhouse in Kuixing Village. When she entered the slaughterhouse, her dog immediately recognized her.
Although she was afraid to tell the workers that this was her stolen companion, Mrs. Peng tried to negotiate to buy the dog back, but after leaving to make a phone call to her husband, she returned to find that her dog had been killed.
She filmed the scene and contacted local police, which led to the raid and eventual rescue of 171 dogs.
Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said, “images from the scene of this slaughterhouse are absolutely horrific and have pulled back the curtain on this brutal trade for many people. It is heartening to see the public, the authorities, and local charities all working together to stamp out this cruel industry and do what is right for the animals.”
“This rescue wouldn’t have been possible without authorities taking the issue seriously and being willing to collaborate with partners in the charity sector. Similarly, without the local charities, there would be nowhere to send the surviving dogs, and without an animal loving public like Mrs. Peng, the shadowy slaughterhouse could have got away with their illegal activities for many more years.”
Last month, police in Chengdu’s Xindu district uncovered meat traders holding 120 dogs without proof of origin.
All 120 animals were rescued and sent to Sichuan Qiming Small Animal Protection Center where they will be cared for while the legal case against the suspects continues. With the animals considered “evidence” in the case, they cannot be re-homed, but they can be returned to their original guardians.
“This incident shows how much progress has been made in terms of collaboration and the increased seriousness with which the authorities are treating dog meat trade related crime. But more needs to be done,” said Irene.
“We’ll continue to work with our partners in government and to encourage them to strengthen supervision and law enforcement in each stage of the industry supply chain, including stronger penalties for stealing and poisoning dogs, cracking down on the illegal slaughter and trade of dogs, and stopping the continued the illicit trafficking of dogs.“
The number of animal welfare organizations in China has increased in the last decade. In 2006, there were just 30 domestic welfare groups, while today more than 200 are working to help animals in need.
Animals Asia currently funds and mentors an astonishing 60% of all China’s local animal welfare organizations.
The charity also works with authorities across the country encouraging local governments to work with animal welfare groups to develop advanced, humane, science-based policies, governing legal guardians and departments in charge of stray populations.
To date, more than 523 officials from 51 cities across the country have attended Animals Asia’s Dog Ownership Management Symposium – covering every single principality in China, and 65% of all provincial capitals.
Qiming has attended five of Animals Asia’s Dog Ownership Management Symposiums, and the two organizations have a long history of collaboration going back a decade.
The two groups have worked together to care for animals after earthquakes in 2008 and 2013, while Animals Asia has donated materials such as vaccines and food on numerous occasions over the past 10 years, as well as providing funding to improve Qiming’s shelter infrastructure.