Earlier this year, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we returned to China where, together with a group of courageous local activists, we documented that dogs and cats are still sold for human consumption. Despite media reports stating otherwise, dogs and cats continue to be raised, kidnapped from families, killed and eaten.
Our investigators visited live animal markets where caged dogs and cats – and the dead bodies of others – were displayed for sale.
Although most people in China do not consume cat or dog meat, there is no official ban on its trade and consumption. Some cities have instead imposed a ban in the areas under their jurisdiction. More than 10 million dogs and 4 million cats in the country are killed for their flesh every year.
As the footage we captured with the help of local activists shows, there is still much work to be done to end this cruel industry. We will not rest until the trade of cats and dogs is banned for good.
When our investigators arrived at the live animal markets, they immediately found dogs and cats stuck in cages that were stacked on top of each other. Many of these animals are stolen from loving homes, while some are bred specifically for human consumption.
Cats and dogs remain confined until they're violently removed to be slaughtered. The animals are immobilised with iron tongs, pulled out of the cages, and beaten with a metal bar before ultimately being killed to be sold as 'fresh meat'.
The dogs and cats that remain are forced to watch as their animal companions are slaughtered, boiled, and skinned. Although most people in China do not consume dog or cat meat, every year more than 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are killed for their meat and fur in the country.
In 2020, the Chinese government declared that it would remove dogs from the list of animals considered 'livestock', with cats not on the list either. However, without an official ban on the consumption of cat and dog meat, millions of animals still end up as victims of this terrible trade.
Starting in 2013, Animal Equality began documenting the cat and dog meat and fur trade.
Our investigators, with the help and support of incredibly brave local activists, have conducted six different field investigations over the years, documenting the heartbreaking suffering of dogs and cats. Our cameras have repeatedly shown the world the exploitation of these animals who are brutally killed before the terrified eyes of their peers.
Thanks to the pressure generated by our investigations, we've been able to see tremendous results over the years. Our work has resulted in a series of local complaints that have led authorities to close 33 dog meat stores and one slaughterhouse, news that has also resonated in media reports around the world.
This is just the beginning. Together we can make a real difference for cats and dogs!
Animal Equality is an international organisation working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals.
Our investigations are a fundamental pillar of our mission to create a world where all animals are protected and respected.