Earlier this year, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we returned to China. Together with a group of courageous local activists, we documented that dogs and cats are still traded for human consumption, despite media reports and statements from the Chinese government claiming otherwise. In fact, dogs and cats continue to be bred or kidnapped from families and killed and eaten in many parts of the country.
In our latest investigstion, we went to wet markets in Liuzhou-Nanhuan, Liuzhou Quianjin, and Guilin-Ximen where caged dogs and cats—and their bodies—were displayed for consumers who wanted to buy freshly killed meat.
Although China removed dogs from the list of animals considered to be "livestock," there is no official ban on the consumption of cat and dog meat throughout the country. Some cities, such as Shenzen and Zhuhai, have imposed official bans but only in the areas under their jurisdiction. Today, more than 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are forced to live in cages and suffer agonizing deaths for meat consumption in China.
As the footage we captured shows, there is still much work to be done to end this cruel industry and we will not rest until the trade of cats and dogs is banned for good.
When our investigators arrived at the wet markets of Liuzhou-Nanhuan, Liuzhou Quianjin and Guilin-Ximen, they immediately found dogs and cats stuck in cages that were stacked on top of each other. Most of these animals are stolen from backyards and loving homes, while a small number are bred specifically for food purposes.
Cats and dogs will remain confined until they're violently removed by the market's butchers. The animals are immobilized with iron tongs, pulled out of cages, and beaten with a metal bar before ultimately being killed to be sold as "fresh meat" to customers.
The dogs and cats that remain are forced to watch as their animal companions are slaughtered, boiled, skinned, and then sold. Every year more than 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are killed for their meat and fur in China.
In 2020, the Chinese government declared that it would remove dogs from the list of animals considered "livestock," with cats never on the list to begin with. However, without an official ban on the consumption of cat and dog meat, millions of animals still end up at wet markets to becomes victims of this terrible trade.
Starting in 2013, Animal Equality began documenting the cat and dog meat and skin trade.
Our investigators, with the help and support of local activists, have conducted 6 different investigations over the years, documenting the appalling reality for dogs and cats. Our cameras have repeatedly shown the world the exploitation of these animals.
Thanks to the pressure generated by our investigations, we've been able to see tremendous progress over the years. Our work in China has led authorities to close 33 dog and cat meat markets and one slaughterhouse—news that has resonated around the world.
This is just the beginning. Together, we can make a real difference for cats and dogs. Sign the petition today!
Animal Equality is an international organization working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals.
Our investigations are a fundamental pillar within our mission to create a world where all animals are protected and respected.