Chinese police smash dog-meat gang that stole pet canines and killed them for food
Beijing authorities say some strays may not have been quarantined, which have implications for food safety
Police in Beijing have smashed a dog meat workshop where stolen pets were killed to be eaten.
Several cages holding 34 dogs were found at a simple concrete workshop in Yangfang township in the suburban Changping district on August 12 after police officers received an anonymous tip-off, according to a report from state-owned Xinhua on Monday.
Several members of the gang have been arrested and hooks and nets that were used to capture the animals – which are thought to have been a mixture of stolen pets and strays – were found at the workshop.
The rescued dogs were later sent to a municipal shelter and local animal welfare groups are looking after them. One of the dogs had a microchip which allowed police to trace its owner.
The report said animals at the workshop were divided into “luxury” and “ordinary” dogs – although it was not clear how the gang distinguished between the two types.
The luxury dogs were sold at a high price to factories to be processed, while ordinary dogs were killed at the workshop to be sold to restaurants and vendors.
The report quoted an expert who warned that the stolen dogs might not have undergone quarantine before they were sold, which had implications for food security.
Earlier this month, police in Chengdu in Sichuan province cracked down on a gang who stole and sold pet dogs. More than 30 dogs were reunited with their owners through the effort of a local animal protection charity.
A lawyer, identified as An Xiang, told Xinhua that every link in the illegal meat trade chain breaks the law from food safety to social stability.
According to the report, the dog and cat meat trade has developed into an industry that consists of stealing, collecting, shipping, slaughtering and selling of the final products such as meat and fur.