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Asian Dog Meat Market, Dog Meat Trade In China: Dark History

Beneath the surface of modern Asia lies a chilling truth, one that haunts animal lovers across the world. For the Dark History section of this website I have made it my solemn duty to delve into the depths of human darkness, to shed light on the horrors that often remain hidden from the world. Today, we venture into the sinister underbelly of the Asian dog meat market, where innocent lives are stolen, and unspeakable cruelty thrives.

The Shrouded Origins of the asian dog meat market:

Asian dog meat Yulin Dog Meat Festival
Image of the 2020 Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China.

The Asian dog meat market’s origins can be traced back centuries, to ancient traditions and cultural beliefs that have tragically persisted. While some argue it as a means of sustenance, the extent of the cruelty endured by these voiceless victims cannot be ignored. Dogs, often stolen from streets or snatched from their homes, are crammed into overcrowded cages, awaiting their cruel fate.

The Canines Dance of Horror:

Many of the dogs and cats slaughtered in Yulin are stolen pets who are transported to the event site over several days, often without food and water for days on end. They watch in shock as their cage mates are ruthlessly butchered, before that same fate befalls them.
Many of the dogs and cats slaughtered in Yulin are stolen pets who are transported to the event site over several days, often without food and water for days on end. They watch in shock as their cage mates are ruthlessly butchered, before that same fate befalls them..

Once captured, the dogs embark on a terrifying journey of torment. They endure long and grueling transportations, often stacked in cramped trucks with no access to food or water. The fear and distress they experience during this voyage is immeasurable, as their cries for help fall on deaf ears. Those who survive the journey find themselves in a terrifying landscape of slaughterhouses and markets, where their lives hang by a thread.

The Market of Macabre:

Vendors tie a dog before butchering it at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival
Vendors tie a dog before butchering it at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival

Within the dog meat markets, a grotesque spectacle unfolds. The atmosphere is thick with despair as the dogs await their gruesome fate. The methods employed to kill them are often horrifyingly inhumane, involving beating, stabbing, and boiling alive. This macabre display not only haunts the animals but also leaves an indelible mark on the collective conscience of those who bear witness.

The Echoes of Outrage Surrounding The Asian Meat Market

Activist tries to stop van of dogs in cages ahead of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in Yulin city, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in June 2014. Thousands of dogs are killed for the festival every year.
An Activist tries to stop truck full of dogs in cages ahead of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in Yulin city, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in June 2014. Thousands of dogs are killed for the festival every year.

The Asian dog meat market has faced increasing international condemnation, with animal rights activists, organizations, and concerned individuals raising their voices against this horrifying practice. Campaigns to end the dog meat trade have gained traction, shedding light on the inhumane treatment and advocating for stricter laws and enforcement to protect these innocent creatures.

Flicker of Hope:

Image of dogs at an Asian dog meat market

Despite the grim reality, there are glimmers of hope on the horizon. In recent years, several countries have taken significant steps towards curbing the dog meat market. Legislation has been introduced to ban or restrict the trade, and public attitudes are shifting as awareness grows. The path to eradicating this horror remains challenging, but the flame of compassion continues to burn brightly.

Conclusion to Asian Dog Meat Markets, Dog Meat Trade In China: Dark History

Yulin Dog Meat Festival
2020 Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China.

Let us not turn away from the horrifying reality that dogs face in the Asian dog meat market. Instead, let us summon the courage to confront this darkness and take a stand against the atrocities committed. Only then can we hope to banish this haunting nightmare once and for all.

Below you can read the information provided by the humane Society International on the Asian dog meat trade.

The following information comes from the humane Society Internationals Website

What countries are involved in the Asian Dog meat trade?

Yulin Dog Meat Festival
Yulin Dog Meat Festival

The dog meat trade is most widespread in China, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Nagaland in northern India.

This trade is well-organized, with high numbers of dogs being stolen or taken from the streets, transported over long distances and brutally slaughtered. In South Korea, dogs are also intensively farmed for the meat trade in appallingly deprived conditions.

Dogs are also known to be eaten in certain African countries such as Ghana, Cameroon, DRC and Nigeria, and there are reports that dogs are killed for personal consumption by some farmers in remote parts of Switzerland, but nothing compares to the sheer scale of the trade across Asia.

Are Family Pets Eaten As Part of the Asian dog meat Trade?

Many of the dogs and cats slaughtered in Yulin are stolen pets who are transported to the event site over several days, often without food and water for days on end. They watch in shock as their cage mates are ruthlessly butchered, before that same fate befalls them.
Many of the dogs and cats slaughtered in Yulin are stolen pets who are transported to the event site over several days, often without food and water for days on end. They watch in shock as their cage mates are ruthlessly butchered, before that same fate befalls them..

In most Asian countries, the majority of dogs killed are either family pets stolen from homes and gardens, roaming “community” dogs or strays snatched from the streets. Dog and cat thieves use a variety of methods, including poison, and sell the animals to traders and restaurant owners. It is quite common to find dogs on trucks headed to slaughterhouses still wearing their collars. The exception to this is South Korea, where most of the dogs are born and reared on farms in an endless cycle of breeding; but some are stolen or relinquished pets, or animals raised for the pet trade but not sold as a puppies.

Do The Dogs Suffer?

The suffering of dogs during transport and as they await slaughter is extreme. On arrival, many watch on as those before them are killed.
The suffering of dogs during transport and as they await slaughter is extreme. On arrival, many watch on as those before them are killed.

Severe animal suffering is endemic to the dog meat trade. The animals are crammed by the hundreds onto the backs of trucks, packed so tightly in cages that they are unable to move. In Viet Nam, it is not uncommon for dogs to be violently force-fed with a tube down the throat in order to boost their weight before sending them to slaughter. Dogs are typically driven for days or weeks, often sick and injured, and many die from suffocation, dehydration or heatstroke long before they reach their destination.

Dogs on South Korean meat farms are kept locked in small, barren metal cages, left exposed to the elements and given just enough food, water or shelter to keep them alive. HSI has uncovered appalling conditions where disease and mental distress are rampant, with many dogs showing obvious signs of sickness, depression, severe malnutrition and abnormal behavior.

All of these dogs will eventually end up at a slaughterhouse, market or restaurant. The method by which they are killed varies: in South Korea, the most common method for slaughtering a dog is by electrocution, but hanging and beating are also used. In China and Viet Nam, dogs are usually beaten to death with a metal pipe and then bled out from a cut to the throat or groin, but they can also be hanged, or—less commonly—thrown conscious into large drums of boiling water.

How widespread is the eating of dog meat in asia??

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Dogs waiting to sold for human consumption.

Most people in China do not eat dog meat, and 2016 opinion polls show that 69.5 percent have never tried it. It is not part of mainstream Chinese culinary culture. There is a growing animal protection movement in the country that roundly opposes the dog meat trade, and there are frequent and documented violent clashes between dog thieves and angry dog owners. In 2015, nearly 9 million Chinese citizens signed in support of a legislative proposal to ban the slaughter of dogs and cats, and more than 100,000 people attended a massive rally in Dalian city.

A 2022 poll taken in South Korea revealed that most South Koreans (87.5%) don’t eat dog meat and 56% support a ban. Dog meat is most likely to be consumed by older generations and for perceived health benefits, particularly during the “Bok Nal” days of summer; younger South Koreans are far more likely to shun it. Polls show that the majority of under-30-year-olds have never eaten dog meat. Of those under-30s who do eat dog, the most cited reason is societal pressure, “because family members eat it.” Despite declining participation in dog meat eating, societal acceptance of others’ perceived right to eat it remains relatively strong.

What Health Risks Does The Asian Dog Meat Trade Pose To Humans?

 EMERGING MARKETS JUNE 22, 20201:55 AMUPDATED 3 YEARS AGO China's annual dog-meat fair opens; activists hope for last time By Reuters Staff   SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s notorious dog-meat festival has opened in defiance of a government campaign to improve animal welfare and reduce risks to health highlighted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, but activists are hopeful its days are numbered.   Slideshow ( 3 images ) The annual 10-day festival in the southwestern city of Yulin usually attracts thousands of visitors, many of whom buy dogs for the pot that are on display in cramped cages, but campaigners said the numbers this year have dwindled.  The government is drawing up new laws to prohibit the wildlife trade and protect pets, and campaigners are hoping that this year will be the last time the festival is held.  “I do hope Yulin will change not only for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its people,” said Peter Li, China policy specialist with the Humane Society International, an animal rights group.  “Allowing mass gatherings to trade in and consume dog meat in crowded markets and restaurants in the name of a festival poses a significant public health risk,” he said.  The coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in horseshoe bats before crossing into humans in a market in the city of Wuhan, has forced China to reassess its relationship with animals, and it has vowed to ban the wildlife trade.  In April, Shenzhen became the first city in China to ban the consumption of dogs, with others expected to follow.  The agriculture ministry also decided to classify dogs as pets rather than livestock, though it remains unclear how the reclassification will affect Yulin’s trade.  Zhang Qianqian, an animal rights activist who was in Yulin on Saturday, said it was only a matter of time before the dog-meat festival was banned.  “From what we understand from our conversations with meat sellers, leaders have said the consumption of dog meat won’t be allowed in future,” she said.  “But banning dog-meat consumption is going to be hard and will take some time.”  Reporting by David Stanway; Additional reporting by Shanghai newsroom Editing by Robert Birsel  Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.  REUTERS NEWS NOW  Subscribe to our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.  Enter email address Submit AppsNewslettersAdvertise with UsAdvertisiA man walks with his pet dog as he talks to a vendor who sells dog meat at a market during the dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Autonomous Region, China June 21, 2018. REUTERS
A man walks with his pet dog as he talks to a vendor who sells dog meat at a market during the dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Autonomous Region, China June 21, 2018. REUTERS


A significant threat to human health, the dog meat trade has been linked to outbreaks of trichinellosis, cholera and rabies. The World Health Organisation estimates that eating dog meat increases the risk of contracting cholera; a number of recent large-scale outbreaks in Viet Nam were directly linked to it. Rabies—which kills around tens of thousands of people across Asia annually—has been found in dogs traded for human consumption in China, Viet Nam and Indonesia.

Humane Society International Website

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