DOGS are being butchered and sold for meat in China’s notorious Yulin market despite a ban from the central government.
It comes as experts warn that the city’s annual dog meat festival could act as a “breeding ground” for disease.
Dogs are sold live for meat at the notorious markets[/caption]
The dog meat trade is currently in a legal limbo in China with animals classed as “companions” rather than livestock[/caption]
The dog meat trade is currently in a legal limbo in China – with animals classed as “companions” rather than livestock.
It is unclear how this will affect trade at the markets, with hundreds of dog carcasses being sold at the annual dog meat festival that has been going for over a decade.
While major business hubs Shenzhen and Zhuhai have outright banned the sale of dog meat, in the rest of the country this is not strictly enforced.
The majority of Chinese people don’t eat dogs, and results from a survey show that 64% of the population want to see an end to the trade.
But health experts have issued fresh warnings that the sale of dogs is not only against animal rights but poses very real public health risks.
The coronavirus itself is believed to have originated in the wildlife markets of central Chinese city Wuhan, where it was allegedly transmitted from bats to humans.
This prompted the country to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals.
Puppies saved from Yulin dog meat festival arrive at a shelter in the city of Dalian[/caption]
Peter Li, a policy specialist with the Human Society International, told Sky News: “We understand that pandemics are caused by a huge concentration of animals of different species – animals with compromised immune systems.
“A lot of dogs are such animals, in great concentration, and with huge psychological and physical problems. Dog meat is a potential breeding ground for a pandemic.”
China is responsible for killing 10 million dogs for human consumption each year.
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Although it’s not part of the mainstream Chinese diet, China is the world’s largest dog meat market, with 97,000 tonnes produced each year.
A recent pork shortage sent the price sky high and boosted sales of dog products.
Animal rights activists with their rescued puppies[/caption]