British and Irish greyhound trainers are cashing in on old racing dogs by exporting them to China, where they face being boiled alive for their meat.
These are the claims of campaigner Kerry Elliman, who has rescued over 758 racing dogs at her two centres—one in Birmingham, the other in Beijing.
Other campaign organisations have made similar findings.
The use of dogs for meat in China, and the cruelty towards the animals is well known to many dog lovers outside of China.
However, there are no UK laws against exporting to China, so once racing dogs can no longer turn a profit in races or breeding, owners are selling them to China, says Elliman.
“It’s very upsetting but we can’t hide from the reality of what’s happening to these gentle creatures while we turn a blind eye,” she said.
“I’ve seen videos where dogs are being boiled alive. I saw one the other day when a meat wagon was being hosed down with scalding hot water—with the dogs still in it. You could hear them screaming.”
The location of where a dog has been bred can be identified from tattoos on their ears, and, if it still exists, the paperwork.
On Dec 1., Kerry posted a picture to her campaign page of a dog called Frankie, who she said was for sale, along with eight of her puppies,
Sadly, by the time Frankie was rescued by Candy Cane Rescue, her centre in Beijing, four of the puppies were found next to her, dead.
“She was rescued by Candy Cane rescue, as she was for sale for a pitiful amount of money,” she wrote in the post.
Frankie’s paperwork revealed that she originated from Irish breeders, according to Elliman.
“I hope these greedy vile people are happy with what they have done and the problems and suffering they have created for these noble dogs. It’s about time the racing industry is brought down.”
Frankie was one of nine greyhounds rescued from Beijing, according to the Mirror. All nine were reduced to skin and bone and infected with viruses such as scabies.
It cost £9,000 ($12,000) to fly the nine dogs to Paris.
Three of the pups she brought home to the UK, where they are now settling in, have British or Irish heritage, said Elliman.
“It upsets me that animals there are treated with so little respect,” she told the Mirror.
“But why do we have to participate in it? Trainers claim they are being exported to countries with welfare.”
She added, “The UK is supposed to be a nation of animal lovers yet dogs are being sent to such a cruel fate.”
Another organisation, Caged, is campaigning for all exports of greyhounds to be banned.
They said that after an investigation in May that they had identified 30 greyhounds which have been exported to China from the UK.
“Chinese breeders are advertising these dogs as stud for up to 6000 Yuan which is around £750-£800 ($1,014-$1,082). Due to China having a zero animal welfare policy and the increase of greyhounds being found within the dog meat trade, we are extremely concerned for any dog that has been exported there,” said a statement on their website.
” When no longer fit to race (due to age, injury, etc.) the dogs become surplus to requirements, resulting in many being poisoned, bludgeoned, hung, or even slowly cooked to death as greyhounds are at present being found within the Chinese dog meat trade,” states the text of their petition calling to ban all exports
But whilst some of the dogs can be bought back and rescued for as little as £15, some of the best dogs can command a price of £300,000 said Elliman.
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