Asia : hell on earth for dogs & cats
For dogs and cats, Asia is certainly not the best place to be.
In China these animals are killed in brutal ways for their fur (see here), and not only that.
The recent few cases of rabies have brought upon the local dogs a large scale extermination action, sponsored by the local governments.
Just to name few of these episodes, in the city of Cixi (in between the 10th and 16th October 2004) an unverified estimate of 40,000 dogs were slaughtered, followed by other killer waves in 2005, 2006 (where in Yunnan 50.000 dogs have been massacred) till the last bloody bath happened only a few days ago, on the 15th of March 2007, in the district of Wanzhou.
The tragic thing it's that not only strays are the target of these tragic raids, but also dogs that have an owner and that are vaccinated (read more here).
In Korea the situation isn't any nicer.
Many Koreans claim that eating dogs is a long tradition although others believe that eating dogs only began as a result of the Korean war, when starvation was rife.
The popularity today has come about because dog dealers and restaurants began to invent stories about the health benefits to be gained from eating dog meat.
In order to meet the demand for dog meat (estimated at 2-2.8 million dogs and cats per year),farms exist throughout the country to breed these animals for slaughter.
Dog meat, at £15 Sterling per kilo, costs more than beef and is eaten more than lamb.
Dogs can commonly be seen in Korean markets being killed (hopefully) by hammer blows to the head before being skinned.
Sometimes the dog is electrified instead, with electrodes fixed to the tongue.
Yet another favoured method is slow strangulation by hanging.
The flesh is then singed by a blowtorch to improve its appearance.
On some occasions, the animal remains alive throughout, eventually dying from shock.
This is all performed in full view of other dogs crammed in cages awaiting the same fate.
The Koreans actually believe that the adrenaline released into the dogs' bloodstreams by their sheer terror and agony will increase the sexual potency of the consumer.
Signing this petition may increase the chances to abolish this horrible and cruel habit.
Although cats are eaten in South Korea, it is more usual for them to be rendered into a "medicine" to treat rheumatism and arthritis. Unlike dogs, cats are not bred on specialist farms.
This would not be cost effective when there are always starving strays.
These are collected in sacks and, if lucky, are beaten to death with either a stick or hammer blows to the head.
More commonly, they are boiled alive with herbs (sometimes after having their limbs broken to reduce their ability to struggle) until their flesh liquifies.
The resulting "liquid cat" (known as "Goyangi soju") is then sold in small sachets.
An average size cat, when cooked with dates, herbs and chestnuts, will produce 20-25 of these sachets.
For all cats and dogs lovers these facts are simply heart breaking, to put it mildly.
I have had cats and dogs with me all my life, and knowing about this kind of cruel acts doesn't make it easy for me to find sleep at night...
If you are touched by this tragic facts, there are a few things that could be done in order to try to save a huge number of canine and feline lifes in Asia:
read more facts about these topics, sign petitions, write/fax/call chinese and korean institutions (like embassies, consulates etc.), contact local shops that sell products deriving from the infamous fur trade, etc.
In the following list you will find important links that focus on this issue (organizations, petitions etc.):
(Related articles and links here and here)