April 28, 2015
153+8 Lives Saved
"Xi'an Angels" intervene to rescue dogs bound for slaughter
In Xi’an, China last week, members of an animal protection volunteer group called “Angels” spotted the latest in a series of trucks caught driving down the highway loaded with dogs headed for slaughter. When confronted, the truck driver and trader admitted that many of the dogs were stolen and that they did not have the required certificates of quarantine inspection.
The government confiscated the exhausted, starving, dehydrated dogs, who had spent days on the road crammed into chicken cages, and handed them over to the Angels. The trader was fined 2000 yuan and the truck driver, 300 yuan; the animals will be treated, rehabilitated and put up for adoption.
Two HSI partner groups joined the rescue soon after the truck was stopped. The director of Xian Red Megranate Companion Animal Rescue Center, Ms. Jiang Hong, has attended several conferences with HSI sponsorship, including our 2015 Animal Care Expo in New Orleans. Mr. Hao Wei of Xi Jing Animal Protection Association, who also participated in the interception and rescue, was sponsored by HSI last year to lobby the Yulin government and assisted in last year's Yulin dog meat festival field investigation.
The dog meat trader signed a note agreeing to give up the dogs, who will be accommodated in local shelters for vet care and rehabilitation. They will be ready for adoption when they recover fully from the physical and psychological trauma. Humane Society International has been following the rescue operation and will provide funding to support the dogs’ recuperation.
Not long after the animals were unloaded and moved into transport cages, two exhausted females delivered puppies. This came as a bittersweet surprise to the activists. "You really should not have come to this world that is no loving and caring home for you," Jiang Hong told the newborns. "But, if not for the rescue, you could have died in the crammed cages." One of the mothers did not naturally have milk, so the young activists were calling for milk donations to help feed the puppies.
Putting on pressure
According to the 2013 "Agriculture Ministry Notice on Strengthening the Dog and Cat Quarantine Inspection Management Work at the Place of Origin," every dog and cat transported across provincial boundaries must have a certificate of quarantine inspection issued by a certified veterinarian. For this particular truck, there should have been 153 certificates. The trader and the trucker did not have any. The intercepted trucks last year all produced fraudulent documents that were proved to be fake by the Agriculture Ministry, resulting in the confiscation of thousands of dogs, fines, and firing of the vets who had signed the fake documents.
HSI is the major international animal welfare organization supporting efforts by Chinese activists to fight the country’s dog meat trade. Last year, we helped fund five more highway rescue operations—saving the lives of more than 2,000 dogs—and we’re encouraging our local partners to put pressure on authorities to shut down this horrific industry completely. Donate now to help.