Monday, October 17, 2011

A thousand dogs rescued from slaughter in Zigong, China

“Urgent: at Zigong, Sichuan, thousands of dogs are now being transported to the slaughterhouse! Please forward.” On Aug 14th, this message was spread out on weibo, a Chinese ‘twitter’, and stirred up public attention across the country. A continuous stream of volunteers from adjacent cities Chengdo, Chongqing, and Neijiang are arriving on the scene to save trunks of dogs.

Volunteers from all around came to site in spite of rain

A girl is feeding the dogs on the trunk with water.

“The rescue action is urgent, so I was calling for help via Weibo on Internet, while contacting other volunteers on phone. The news spread rapidly from mouth to mouth, and volunteers from all around rushed here for the battle of releasing these dogs”, said by Weizi, who made the first announcement of this rescue on Weibo on previous day. Many volunteers came to the site with medicines, disinfectant wipes, bandages, and other first aid supplies, and sat up all night in spite of rain to protect the dogs, and some asked days off from their employers to continue the fight. As claimed by one volunteer: “we’ll stay until all dogs here are free!”

“I left our contact information under the message, so tons of animal protection organizations around mainland China, some even from Hong Kong, have got in touch with us, showed their support and asked the update of the rescue action. Our cell phones quickly ran out of battery after receiving loads of calls.”

At 10pm, all of a sudden the rain poured in. The miserable and heart-trenching barking from those dogs could be heard hundreds of meters from the spot. Wenzi and her colleagues stood by the trunk, reporting to the journalists “Look, almost 10,000 dogs are captivated in those cages.” Each cage is 10 square feet in size and packed with few to twenty dogs. There is no space in the cages for confined dogs to turn around. They haven’t been fed for couple of days and some hardly managed to respond to the flashlight from the volunteers.

Rescue: dogs escaped from the jaws of death

“Dog dealers steal guard dogs and pets from nearby area and sell each at the price of $1.5 to this underground market. Today officials from Bureau of Animal Husbandry in Sichuan Province (BAHS) came here and the owner of the company showed them a certificate that expired in 2008”, a volunteer pointed to the letters “we buy dogs here” printed on the wall. Three days ago, Wenzi secretly investigated in this market, claiming herself as an ‘owner of a slaughterhouse’, and found out that dogs are transported in Canton province mostly and slaughtered there. “When we ask the owner where the dogs are transported to, they claim that those dogs are translocated to other places to be raised up. If the dogs are truly going to be raised, why don’t they provide covers to protect the dogs from rain? We felt as if knives were being twisted in our hearts when we saw these dogs suffering in rain.

‘We buy dogs and sheep’ printed on the wall

“Many of dogs are injured because they’re caught in such inhumane ways!” Dog deals use a special iron device to clamp the neck of a dog, and clamp will go tighter if the dog struggles. Many dogs got injured all around their necks and bodies. “Just a few feet over there, you can see a dog tail clamped off from a dog.”

  A volunteer found a clamp used to catch dogs

“Some of the dogs are bought from local puppy mills, and some are stolen from pet owners when they are away.” Wenzi told the journalist that when she investigated here previously, she met an old lady who was looking for her missing dog. The old lady thought I was looking for my dog as well so she kind-heartedly showed me the direction of this market, telling me that I should check here quickly, otherwise my dog would be transported to outside and got slaughtered.”

“Many of these dogs are injured and carrying diseases. They are packed in such suffocating and crowed places, and shipped thousand miles all the way to Canton. Who knows how many will die on the way there!” A volunteered said, most of the dogs are stray dogs, infected by canine distemeper, and canine parvovirus.

On 15th, the site is full of hundreds of volunteers. They are feeding the dogs in cages with water and food on palms. However, they cannot treat the dogs with bandages and medicines when negotiating with the owner is still undergoing. Few dogs have died from hunger and cold. Under the pressure from volunteers, the owner finally agreed to move the cages onto the ground so that volunteers could reach to individual dogs.

Volunteers providing care for the dogs

Debate: the unknown fate of these 1,000 dogs

 On 15th, journalists found the salesman of these dogs Daguo Tang, who indicated his embarrassing stand in this situation. Tang has beening running this market for more than three years. “We have been collecting dogs from surrounding areas and selling them to other places to raise up. We are legal company certified by the government.” Tang said that these 1,000 dogs weighed 18,000 pounds in total and were worth 120,000RMB ($18,461). “They were ordered by a boss in Canton. I shouldn’t be blamed for since I’m only in charge of collecting and transporting. I’m not the one who steals the dogs or slaughters them.”

“The rescue action organized by animal activists not only ruined my economy, but also polluted my reputation”, Tang indicated that he was not willing to conflict with the volunteers and he’s now waiting for the government to be the judge.

“We’re hoping to take all of these dogs to animal shelters, just as how volunteers did in previous rescue action in April this year, but the dog owner demands for 10,000 RMB ($1,5348) from us”, as said byYunlian Chen, a representative of The Love of Home Animal Rescue Center (Aizhijia). Aizhijia has successfully rescued 10,000 stray dogs since its foundation, and is currently home to 2,000 of them. Chen said, they will be able to hold more stray dogs when their new center is constructed. “We’re receiving funding from individual animal activists and animal rights organizations both from China and overseas. We hope to rescue these dogs as soon as possible with the coordinating of policemen and the government.”

Attitude from the government

On 15th, Zigong government made an announcement to claim their stand in this issue: “On 14th, we’re informed of a conflict on animal abuse. Our officials, along with representatives from Bureau of Animal Husbandry, and policemen arrived on scene to investigate on this issue, in response to volunteers’ requests to save the lives of these animals. Based on local laws and policies, further evidence is needed in order to give any penalty to dog dealers involved in this issue.”

However, local government didn’t make any positive efforts to mediate this dispute, from the perfunctory responding in the beginning to demanding volunteers to pay dog dealers. A Zigong citizen found his dog on the trunk but his request to get his dog back was refused harshly by the police. When the volunteers accused the dog dealers of violating Epidemic Prevention Law, which inhibits trading and consuming of unvaccinated dogs, the officials Bureau of Animal Husbandry soon issued a certificate to the dog dealers, proving that the dogs have received vaccination and are in a healthy condition. Their stand in this dispute harmed the reputation of both Zigong government and to the entire nation in large, and disappointing countless animal activists who are fighting hard to facilitate the enactment of animal protection law in this country.

New Update:

The Love of Home Animal Rescue Center and Qiming Animal Protection Center have bought the dogs from the dealers for 83,600RMB ($12861), including 60,000RMB for dogs and 23,600 RMB for cages. The rescued dogs will be soon shipped to their animal shelters tonight.

How you can help:

Calling and Emailing Zigong govt:

Zigong government hotline 自贡市政府公开电话0086-0813-12345

Secretary of Zigong govt Standing Committee 自贡市委书记王海林:0086-13990049698 

Zigong Bureau of Animal Husbandry自贡市畜牧局  0086-0813-8204680

Zigong Commerce and Industry Burea自贡市工商局电话0086-0813-8100139

Animal disease control Bureau 动物疫病监督   0086-0813-8263836  

贡井区魏炜: 0086-13909004646  

Govt email 政府邮箱:ZGZF@ZGRB.NET

Donation *desperately needed*

If you are inside China, please transfer money to The Love of Animal Animal Rescue Center via the following means:

卡号:6227 0038 1398 0062 075

卡号:6225 8802 8809 4346



请大家用银行账户汇款时尽量能在尾数加个几角或几分,如有给陈阿姨的物资,请邮寄至:成都市武侯区沙堰西二街20号中央花园二期25幢3单元3号(610000) 陈运莲收 电话13880093845

If you are from overseas:








holder’s name: CHEN YUNLIAN


ACCOUNT NUMBER:119859288130

**For the inconvenience of donating from overseas, SAFAR is currently working out a way to raise donation through paypal. More info to come.**

More Photos of this rescue action:

When can I be free…

Article edited and translated by Student Alliance for Animal Rights

Thanks for the update from Chinese Youth Animal Protection Alliance

Source : safarus

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