An owner of a Chinese restaurant has revealed that many breeders are raising thousands of puppies to feed customers.
The unnamed boss, who owns a dog meat restaurant in southern China, shared the grim reality of the dog meat industry in the country to local media.
This comes after Shenzhen city passed the first law amid the COVID-19 pandemic that bans residents from eating cats and dogs.
“Many people eat dogs in Guangxi and Leizhou, where I am from,” the restaurant owner said to video outlet Pear.
“Some people in Guangxi raise dogs to sell them. They bring them up like pigs. One household would keep thousands of dogs for their meat.”
Guangxi is the province where the yearly Yulin Dog Meat Festival takes place. The festival sees thousands of canines slaughtered, skinned, cooked, and eaten by residents.
Even though the consumption of dogs is only imposed on Shenzhen, 560km from Leizhou, the unnamed man already expects his business to drop by around 40percent because of the legislation’s impact.
“Many people ask [us] if there is dog meat. And if we don’t, they would just leave,” he said. “It is certain that my business will be affected. [The drop is estimated] to be 30 to 40 per cent.”
Another business owner told Pear that the dog meat business had been dropping before the legislation was passed.
She said: “After the ban, I will just stop selling [dog meat]. I will sell something else,” she expressed.
The law will take effect in the city of 13 million people on May 1.
Dr. Peter Li, China policy specialist for Humane Society International, an animal protection charity, said in a statement: “With Shenzhen taking the historic decision to become mainland China’s first city to ban dog and cat meat consumption, this really could be a watershed moment in efforts to end this brutal trade that kills an estimated 10 million dogs and four million cats in China every year.
“The majority of these companion animals are stolen from people’s back yards or snatched from the streets, and are spirited away on the backs of trucks to be beaten to death in slaughterhouses and restaurants across China.”
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