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Investigation: Inside China’s Dog Meat Slaughterhouses

Animal Equality uncovers for the first time dogs being brutally clubbed to death inside China’s dog slaughterhouses.
April 8, 2013 Updated: October 31, 2023
Mesh,Cage,Animal shelter,Metal

In 2012, Animal Equality began documenting China’s dog meat trade. Our investigators visited a dog farm, slaughterhouses, and the markets and restaurants where their meat is sold.

In the cities of Jiangmen and Zhanjiang, investigators filmed slaughterers beating dogs with wooden clubs and stabbing them to death. This took place in full view of other dogs.

This video of dog slaughterhouses is the worst, the most evil and horrific I have seen in my life.

Bernard Rollin,
Professor of Animal Sciences and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University


Many dogs at the slaughterhouses and meat restaurants visited by Animal Equality’s investigator were likely taken from family homes. Several still had collars around their necks. 

According to a survey carried out in May 2011 by Guo, a nonprofit organization based in China, more than 80% of households in Jinan, Shandong, have reportedly had dogs stolen. According to Guo, these animals are likely to have ended up in slaughterhouses.

Dog in crate

Other dogs are raised on farms in Peixian and other Northern provinces. They can spend up to four months in cages or pens. Once the animals reach the desired slaughter weight, most are transported long distances to slaughterhouses in Guangzhou, Guangdong, and Zhanjiang.

More than 10 million dogs are killed in China’s meat trade each year, approximately 30,000 every single day. The only area of China where the consumption of dog meat is prohibited is Hong Kong. 

Although there are currently no nationwide animal protection laws in China, there is a growing concern for animals in the country. It has become increasingly common for Chinese citizens – particularly those in sprawling cities – to live with dogs or cats. 

After protests by Chinese animal protection groups erupted across the country, China officially reclassified dogs as companion animals instead of livestock. Since then, two Chinese cities have banned dog meat consumption. 


Animal Equality launched a campaign to end the abuse and slaughter of dogs and cats. Nearly 800,000 people have signed the petition

dogs trapped in cage

Animal Equality has conducted investigations into China’s dog meat trade since May 2012. In October 2013, one investigation contributed to the closure of a dog slaughterhouse and dozens of dog and cat meat vendors. 

Animal Equality rescued a female dog from a slaughterhouse in China. The dog, named Vita, was later placed in a family home in Spain. Although unknown at the time of rescue, Vita was pregnant and gave birth to nine puppies shortly after her arrival. All of them – with the exception of one who died shortly after birth due to a health condition – were adopted into loving families. 

During 2022’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which takes place every June in China, Animal Equality discussed the dog meat trade before the Italian Senate. Alice Trombetta, then Executive Director of Animal Equality in Italy, detailed the investigative findings. 

Animals like dogs and cats aren’t the only ones who suffer for meat. Animal Equality has investigated factory farms, live animal markets, and slaughterhouses in 13 countries where pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals are abused and ultimately killed.

Cows in the dairy industry are torn from their newborn calves shortly after birth. 

Piglets who are injured, ill, and won’t reach the slaughterhouse rarely receive the veterinary care they need. Instead, they are left to die on factory farm floors – just feet away from their caged mothers. Others are hammered to death or smashed against the walls and floor, a practice so common that it is featured and recommended in the meat industry’s own manuals.

And male baby chicks in the egg industry are shredded alive on their first days of life, simply because they don’t produce eggs. 

Bird,Beak,Yellow,Recipe,Ducks, geese and swans,farmed animal

Animal Equality’s investigative findings have been featured in top media outlets like CNN, The New York Times, Wired, NPR, NBC and others. 

Animal Equality also uses this footage to create meaningful changes for all animals, regardless of species. This includes changing the Mexican Constitution, defending chickens before the European Union Commission, and securing animal welfare commitments from the largest corporations in the world. 


Whether it’s a pig trapped in a factory farm or a dog trapped in China’s meat trade, animals around the world urgently need our help. 

The good news is that you can protect animals from abuse each time you grocery shop. Simply replace meat, dairy, and eggs with wholesome, plant-based staples and enjoy cooking like never before. 

Whether you’re exploring bold new flavors or recreating your childhood favorites, Love Veg is stocked with free recipes and tips to help you on your journey. From cautious  beginners to plant-based experts, everyone is welcome to the global movement. 

Rescued hen held by Animal Equality volunteer


With rich emotional lives and unbreakable family bonds, farmed animals deserve to be protected.

You can build a kinder world by replacing animal food products with plant‑based ones.

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