Disturbing videos of dogs being covered in boiling water and barbecued alive show the grim reality of China’s gruesome and unsanitary dog meat markets.

Campaigners have shared grizzly pictures and video as they prepare to march on the country’s embassy in London, demanding an end to the trade. Throughout the year the dogs are stuffed in tiny cages close to other animals and are skinned alive and slaughtered on site with no regard to sanitation.

Graphic footage shows a dog still barking and opening its bloody jaw as it is barbecued alive.

Two men at the market can be heard chatting and laughing as the tortured creature flinches over the grill. Another video taken in China’s Hubei province shows boiling water being poured over a bloody and half shaven dog before it cries out in agony and limps across the concrete floor.

Despite the bludgeoning, stabbing, poisoning and suffocating of dogs being well documented across the country, the animal’s meat is still in high demand in some regions.

Roughly 10 million dogs and four million cats are slaughtered every year in the People’s Republic, having been stolen from back yards, crammed into cages on the back of lorries and driven for days with no food or water.

According to Humane Society International, only 20 per cent of China’s population regularly eats dog and only 65 per cent have tried it. The group says the vast majority of demand comes from the country’s southern, central and northeast region.

Picture: Reuters

Since 2012 No to Dog Meat have been documenting the cruel treatment of these defenceless animals, but China’s Coronavirus epidemic has presented an opportunity to make new cases for ending the industry. Its activists warn the disease is rife in dog meat markets and are urging the People’s Republic to take immediate action.

They have launched a petition calling for an immediate end to the markets where dogs are knifed, bludgeoned and burnt to death, surrounded by thousands of customers and other animals.A message from the group says:

‘Your food markets have no control over sanitation and nor do the majority of your restaurants. It is time to end the live slaughter and abject cruelty to dogs and cats in your markets (including Wuhan). It is time to end the illegal trade of dogs and cats for food and fur.’

The charity’s CEO Julia De Cadenet said, ‘We want to push China’s authorities to say public slaughter of all animals has to stop.’

Picture: Reuters

She says she has personally witnessed horrific mutilation of monkeys, rats turtles and a number of species, but that dogs ‘in particular are treated worse’. The activist added:

‘When they skin them for fur, they will skin them alive and burn the fur off and then they will throw the carcass of the living animal down so that pigs can gorge upon it. Sometimes the skinned animals are left on the floor to slowly die before being turned into animal feed or food for humans.

Picture: No to Dog Meat

Julia said: ‘Because it’s an undercover type of industry, obviously they are slaughtered and sold in plain sight, the funds that are raised do go back into the black market and therefore there’s a criminality to it as well.’

While dogs are often farmed for food and fur in countries including South Korea, in China they are almost always stolen as pets or snatched off the streets as strays.

Julia says many of the animals will not have vaccinations and the un-regulated nature of the business means its impossible to maintain a consistent level of hygiene.

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