The consumption of dogs and cats is a contentious issue in China with animal lovers and traditionalists confronting each other in heated exchanges. Compounding this problem is the fact that while dog and cat eating may be frowned upon in the mainstream press, it remains perfectly legal and is supported for certain ailments by Chinese traditional medicine.
The grey area of animal rights in China puts the niche market of dog and cat meat into a compromised position: sellers don’t have the mainstream market that sellers of chicken and pork command, but at the same time are not limited by their legal restraints. It’s just such a situation that we can see when visiting an informal dog and cat meat market located at the side of the road on the outskirts of Foshan.
At this remote location known to market insiders and prospective buyers, four to five stalls can be seen showcasing their stock in small cages, sometimes with several animals sharing a single cramped space, and other times keeping them on leashes from which they are hung by the neck. The animals are slaughtered in an area to the side, after which the seller will offer to roast the animal over an open fire.
Hygiene issues are a concern here, with a reporter visiting the location undercover saying that the market smells foul and bloody, calling it “disgusting”.
When asked, the sellers would not admit where the animals came from, only saying they come from “somewhere else”, raising doubts on how fit the animals are for consumption. All the same, live cats are selling at RMB 46 a kilogram, while dogs are worth RMB 38 a kilogram.
If eating dogs and cats were more publicly accepted in China, sellers may be able to provide better conditions in which to sell their animals. But as they occupy a grey area, some of the conditions are sketchy.
The following pictures may be offensive to some people:
If it’s still there, the market is located in Chancheng District near the Zhangcha water gate at the junction of Yanjiang South Road near Luo Village.