Record seizures of dogs from meat traffic in China and Thailand stretch rescue capacity
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2013:
BEIJING, BANGKOK––Stopping a truck hauling 250 dogs to slaughterhouses in Maoming, Guangdong on April 7, 2013, Kunming Yixin Stray Animal Shelter volunteers had kept the truck surrounded at An Ning, in Kunming, for 48 hours as the April 2013 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE went to press, despite acts of attempted physical intimidation by the truckers and reinforcements called by the truckers.
Posting cell phone photos of the confrontation to the Weibo social network, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, the would-be dog rescuers asked viewers to join their vigil.
Record seizures of dogs being illegally trucked to slaughter are increasingly taxing Chinese and Thai animal rescue charities, but each new seizure appears to encourage more citizens to help the spontaneous rescues.
Chen Mingcai of the Chongqing Small Animal Protection Association told Associated Press on March 2, 2013 that 907 dogs and a sheep were removed from an overloaded truck near Anwen when the driver of another vehicle noticed the dogs and responded.
Rescue volunteer Peng Tao told China Daily that when he obliged the truck to stop, he “found many poodles, huskies, German shepherds, and golden retrievers, all expensive breeds, locked in cages in the back,” some wearing collars. Suspecting the dogs were stolen, Peng Tao said he called the police after the driver assaulted him. China Daily reported on March 7 that veterinarians Li Kangsheng and Li Daoping of the Wusheng county animal health inspection institution in Sichuan Province were suspended for signing a quarantine permit for the truck without inspecting the animals.
The rescued dogs were held temporarily at a school playground in Chongquing.
The Animals Asia Foundation “put together an emergency team of 10 vets, vet nurses and bear team supervisors, from our nearby bear sanctuary in Chengdu,” said founder Jill Robinson. “We’re health-checking the dogs, treating their wounds, and vaccinating them. We hope many will recover and find good homes.”
Only two days later about 20 activists intercepted a truck hauling 1,123 dogs in Xiuwen county, Guizhou province.
The dogs in each case were reportedly being taken to meat markets in Guangdong and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
In Thailand, meanwhile, the Soi Dog Foundation is taking in 100 to 500 dogs per week who have been seized by police en route to Laos and Vietnam. The haulers claim to have bought the dogs from villagers. Responds Soi Dog Foundation director John Dalley, “The vast majority are stolen pets, but as they are sourced from all over Thailand and then mixed together at holding centers, it is impossible to know where they have come from. The snatchers target pets,” Dalley says, “because they are far easier to pick up than frightened street dogs.”
Dalley in a recent appeal spotlighted dogs named Nakhon, Phanom and Bo, who suffered crushed limbs from being crammed tightly and awkwardly into cages.
“All three poor girls have had to have limbs amputated,” Dalley said. More fortunate than most, “All three have been found loving homes overseas,” Dalley added.