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8 Years of Investigations of Dog and Cat Meat Trade


Animal Equality has been investigating the Dog and Cat Meat Trade to expose the abuse and mistreatment of these animals. This trade involves the capture, torture, and slaughter of millions of dogs and cats each year.

Since 2012, Animal Equality has been investigating the cruel dog and cat meat and skin trade, releasing a series of poignant investigations that have shocked the world.

The stories we have collected are astounding.

This first video is an intense investigation into slaughterhouses and dog meat markets in the Leizhou Peninsula and Pengijang Province.

Our investigators have traveled all over China and, with the help of brave local activists, covertly infiltrated the criminal groups that manage the trafficking of dogs throughout different regions of the country.

Our team captured the images in illegal slaughterhouses—dirty places without mercy. In these facilities, dogs are beaten, dragged, and treated like objects. They’re confined to dark rooms where they live amongst excrement and are forced to watch helplessly as their companions are slaughtered.

In two facilities in Jiaxing, Shandong Province, our investigators documented the killing of dogs. The animals are first stunned by repeated blows to their heads, and then their throats are cut, all while fully conscious.These are terrible scenes and impossible to forget.

Dog bodies are sold for their meat in markets, while their skins are used to make coats, toys, and bags.

Dog in a cage of a Chinese meat market

CHERISH COMPANIONSHIP

As loyal companions, dogs and cats have been beloved by humans for thousands of years.

Defend these ancient bonds by replacing animal products with plant‑based ones.

At a market in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province in southern China, Animal Equality investigators found that traders sell carpets made of cat and dog fur, some of which are made from the remains of nine or more animals.The images obtained by our investigators have been seen by people around the world, and thanks to the outcry from our footage, 33 markets and an illegal dog and cat slaughterhouse were closed by Chinese authorities.

Images of the investigation, along with the news of the closure of the markets and the slaughterhouse, were aired on the Italian state-owned TV channel TG1.

Thanks to our close collaboration with Chinese activists and law enforcement agencies, about 600 dogs and cats have been rescued.

Here is the story of one of those animals, a dog named Vita, who was saved from an illegal slaughterhouse by our investigators:

Animal Sacrifice at the Gadhimai Festival, Nepal, 2014 – 2019

Every five years, Nepal hosts the Gadhimai festival, a ritual celebration involving the killing of thousands of animals.

Considered the biggest sacrifice of animals in the world, large numbers of buffaloes, goats, sheep, and birds are brutally slaughtered by devotees as an offering to the Hindu goddess Gadhimai. For over half a decade, Animal Equality investigators have been at the forefront of the effort to stop this cruel massacre.

In 2014, we launched a campaign to ban animal sacrifice in Nepal, asking the temple to hold alternative rituals that would not involve killing or mistreating animals.

Following relentless campaigning by our activists, the neighboring government of Indian decided to adopt a new ban that would stop the transportation of animals into Nepal during the Gadhimai festival. This decision was vital in reducing the number of animals sacrificed, with the 2014 festival sacrificing 70% fewer animals than in 2009.

Unfortunately, despite protests worldwide, the festival took place as scheduled in 2019. For this reason, our campaign to end animal sacrifice in Nepal continued, and our investigators were again on the ground to document the massacre.

To redirect festival attendees from sacrificing animals, we collaborated with the Red Cross in Nepal to organize stations where devotees could donate their blood (instead of the blood of animals) to pay homage to the Hindu goddess.

Chicken Markets, India, 2017-2018

In 2017, Animal Equality extensively documented the cruelty of the chicken meat industry in India. For 6 months, our team investigated chicken farms and markets in Pune, Raigad, and Delhi.

We filmed the terrible conditions of breeding, transport, and slaughter to which these fragile animals are subjected. In Indian live animal markets, chickens are kept in tiny cages for days without food or water. They are then killed at these unsanitary markets, with their throats cut and the birds left to die in agony.

According to Indian food safety standards, chickens should instead be killed in authorized slaughterhouses and stunned before they are slaughtered. However, these standards are systematically violated in most cases.

Despite India being a historically vegetarian country, chicken meat consumption has been increasing in recent years due to constant political pressure and lobbying by large European corporations working on expanding their product sales into new territories.

The Threat of Wet Markets, China, India, and Vietnam, 2020

In April 2020, in response to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, Animal Equality released a new investigation with footage collected in wet markets in China, India, and Vietnam.

Wet markets are also a threat to global public health. In these markets, wild and farmed animals live together in cramped, unsanitary cages. The stress from their transport and living conditions cause their immune systems to weaken, creating the perfect breeding ground for zoonotic viruses that can make the jump from animals to humans.

This was the case with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which was born in a Chinese wet market, as well as COVID-19, which many scientists believe originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China.

Along with our investigation, we launched a petition asking the United Nations (UN) to ban wet markets worldwide. So far, the petition has already collected over 500,000 signatures.

In response to the outbreak, China announced a ban on wild animal trade and consumption and directed the closure of certain illegal markets. In May, our investigative team, along with local undercover activists, went back to China to see for themselves if the markets had indeed been shut down, as the media and the Chinese government reported.

Unfortunately, the cruelty to animals and threat to public health that wet markets pose continues, as our footage reveals.