China’s animal cruelty in the news…again

Again the words ‘Guangzhou’ and ‘animal cruelty’ are all over the international media. I must admit, I wasn’t aware that dogs and cats in China were killed for their fur. However, last night, (Monday) the BBC’s Six O’Clock News in Britain broadcast a secretly taped film of animals being abused and killed (for their fur) at Guangzhou’s Fur Market – supposedly the hub for China’s cat and dog fur exports. The hidden camera footage was filmed by the organisation People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) and shows ‘extreme scenes on animal torture’:

Dogs and cats are shown being thrown from the top deck of a converted bus onto concrete pavements. In another piece of footage, cats are seen squirming inside a sack before being thrown into a vat of boiling water. Smiling, laughing workers are also filmed beating the animals to death.

One reason why the story made big news was because ex-Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney – well known for his strong stance against animal cruelty – was invited to a preview screening and was shocked by the footage, describing the Chinese industry as being ‘against every rule of humanity’:

“This is barbaric. Horrific. It’s like something out of the Dark Ages. They seem to get a kick out of it. They’re just sick, sick people. This is just disgusting. It’s just against every rule of humanity. I wouldn’t even dream of going over there to play, in the same way I wouldn’t go to a country that supported apartheid. I couldn’t go there. If they want to consider themselves a civilised nation they’re going to have to stop this.”


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 62 Comments

oh my god please help the helpless. i also can not think of anything else since seeing the slaughter video i pray and scream to god to stop this i am a sane senior whos been through a lot but this is the worst please how do we get through to the media and the people most adore and revere the dog and cat maybe take out an ad with pictures and facts and say whose dog or cat are you or your babies wearing today in your boots gloves coat one beleived me when a freind bought a dog statue with cat fur a few yeas ago just please tell me how to get info to public? senior lady in p a usa

February 5, 2006 @ 9:20 am | Comment

First of all, the argument that animals are killed for food therefore isnt it just the same is absurd and not a logically reasoned argument so im not wasting my bloody time going into it. FACT- the delight in the workers faces reveals a sadistic taste for suffering which in my opinion directly links them to any Nazi who humiliated and then killed a jew or the white supremacists who burned Jesse Washington alive in 1906. The point here is that theanimals are suffering intolerable cruelty and pain. The point is not that we are more intelligent or reasoned than a cat or dog, but that we all can suffer regardless of species. Those cats and dogs without doubt are sentient beings who are more capable of reasoning than permanantly vegetated humans. If I was to skin my fucking brother (who is vegetated) alive would it be acceptable. And while many other countries including Denmark and France have ridiculous animal rights records, China is completely lacking not only in animal rights but human rights. The country has some serious fucking problems and imnot so sure that the abuses inflicted upon the animals would prompt much more than a passing comment by the majority of Chinese people.

April 19, 2006 @ 7:56 pm | Comment

What is the necessity of killing an animal with an inhumane method.

All we need is its flesh, fur or say some other useful stuff. With so much technical advancement, why can not we trace out a method which makes this whole killing process simple, less time consuming, inflicting less pain.

Let’s not discuss this anymore but make certain rules to be adhered by everyone across the globe, as we can not rule out use of animals in our daily life ( being a veggie or non- veggie does not mean , we use or do not use animals).

May 5, 2006 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

This barbaric and disgusting treatment of animals should be stopped immediately.
The world should stop buying fur from these yellow low-lifes.
PETA is right about them.Long live PETA.
Buy NOTHING from China, land of the obscene.

May 30, 2006 @ 5:44 am | Comment

The chinese race is the lowest form of life on this planet.Their inhumane treatment of animals simply illustrates this.
The West should turn it’s back on these scum and refuse to buy anything sold by these vermin.
I pray to God that a plague descend on these yellow bastards and wipe the lot of them off the face of the planet.

June 5, 2006 @ 6:12 am | Comment

I agree with Sir Paul. Why go entertain people who seem to get a kick out of Golden Retriever Rugs? Who needs music when you can just go beat the live out of some defense-less aniaml.Im sufe ALL Chineese people are NOT like that, but still; if someone walked up and showed you that video out of the blue…how would YOU respond…not calmly I assure you.Let’s be real.HE acted how any of us would have acted, if not better. As for Peta….Fanatical? At least their getting something done.What legislation have YOU helped pass to help ease the suffering of animals lately? There’s no reason to put down anyone that’s promoting animal welfare, unless they themselves are causing harm to living creatures.As far as I know PETA has yet to blow anybody up, or demand living sacrifices so cut them a break people.We all care about other living creature, we just all show it differently.

July 15, 2006 @ 4:49 am | Comment

Why can’t people have some COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS and stop eating meat and wearing fur? It is not hard to be vegetarian. It digusts me how most people eat meat and do not care about the animals raised for food who suffer terribly. Could they live much worse lives?

Animals are tortured in both the West and Asia.

Abuse of animals is so bad at slaughterhouses you need an animal welfare inspector to be present at all times to ensure this does not happen.

I am angry at people who oppose animal rights groups trying to stop the great pain animals suffer because of people. At least the animal rights group care unlike those people who oppose them!

July 26, 2006 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

It makes me sick how self-righteous some vegetarians and animal rights supporters are. You think the buck stops because you decide not to put that ground beef in your cart at the supermarket? You’ve washed your hands of all animal cruelty, because an animal’s meat hasn’t found its way into your stomach like your physiology would want? No person who cares deeply for animals can be anything but a contradiction if they live normal, modern lives. While you are busy chastising people who still eat meat, does it pang on your conscience that the lifestyle you lead still contributes to the unfortunate extermination of many animals? Do you use electricity? Do you live in a suburb? Do you drive a car? Do you own things made of wood, metal? Do you produce garbage? Everything normal about your life contributes to the ever-decreasing amount of Earth that can be shared with wildlife. Perhaps 20 years ago the site of your home might have been the habitat of an endangered species? The guilt-free produce you consume comes from slash-and-burn farms or farms that use exorbitant pesticides and fertilizers that cause immense damage to ecosystems? That the amount of woodlands has been exponentially decreasing all over the world to feed insatiable demands? You have no right to be indignant. Senseless cruelty is offensive to all with a rightly-tuned conscience, and its occurance is tragic, yet while the evils of eating cows, pigs and chickens, whose populations approach that of humans, have many vocal crusaders, the plight of species’ on their way to eternal extinction goes unsung because their cause is more difficult to support than making an adjustment to your palate.

And to those who sympathise with the sadists causing most inhumane deaths to animals, grow up. The blame rests with Western consumers? Surely that’s it. The fact that so far, nobody has produced any links or evidence that suggests Western clothiers are buying the majority of the furs from animals brutally killed in urban China. Ignoring that fact, certainly it’s the buyer of a pair of gloves who should be ashamed. Not the store for selling it. Not the outlet who provides the store the goods. Not the factory for making the goods out of sadistically-wrought furs. Not the suppliers for paying street scum for their day’s fun of snuffing the life out of animals. Own up; the blame rests with everyone involved. That goes for the Chinese as well as those who profit from and consume the evil products. It’s horribly shameful and irresponsible to hold anybody but those who actually committed the acts fully accountable for them; would you suggest that its the Jews’ fault for causing the Holocaust by lighting the manora and eating unleavened bread? That is ridiculous, of course not. I am at least relieved that it is common vermin being made into products rather than endangered otters, rodents, etc.

A final thing to address, is that there seems to be woefully misplaced rage in this thread. There are people like Sir Paul whose distaste drive them to make idiotic generalisations. Videos such as this are not indictive of a nation of more than a billion. You’ll note that barbarism happens even in America; and every place on earth. Racism caused by disgusting, evil people is misplaced hatred. Second of all, while I hold compassion for pets, it seems like when a few of them are treated cruelly, it gets much more attention than when anything else is treated equally as poor. People spend tons of money and energy raising and keeping their pets. If even a fraction of this potential that’s spent on 2 ecologically worthless species, and given back to the downhill struggle to preserve endangered species, much more progress would be made. Instead we are much more concerned about our pets. Never mind they are overpopulated nuisance when not under the control of responsible owners. The animals shown in the video may well have been vermin who cause problems in the community. The people’s economic livelyhood might depend on harvesting these animals. The authorities’ resources are already stretched thin trying to protect human rights. An excuse for the barbarism? No, but their presence will not in any way be missed, unlike when an endangered animal is left dead. We waste our moral outrage on the pointless animals of the city rather than seeing that more and more species of animals are being pushed to the point of no return. And, unlike most sensible people, PETA is fanatically devoted to the prevention of cruelty among towards most creatures including insects, their actions by definition label them as a terrorist orginization. While not using outright violence, their tactics are to use fear to further their agenda. As if they themselves aren’t responsible for cruelty; PETA murders animals too. Observe:

Open your own eyes, or close your mouth. The time your righteousness approaches the height to talk down to others is never. Any human being living in a modern lifestyle is directly involved in causing suffering and permanent destruction of many animals and plants. Any human being living in a poorer lifestyle does not have the income to change the diet their natural bodies were designed around, and any human living at base level as fellow animals treat the animals no differently than the animals treat each other: a life of competition, pain, and cruelty. A sad life, to be sure, but ask me what the bird felt when you clean up the gift your cat has left on your porch. Life is a brutal, unrementing cycle, and it is fleeting for all. Even extinction is not something we should be shamed by, it happens and is a part of nature, with many mass-extinctions preceding us. But as you shrug off that endangered creature smeared on the asphalt on your way to Starbucks, and your mind is filled with vitriol at the Chinese and how some of their people treated some cats and dogs with utter depravity, realize you are a hopeless hypocrite and that nobody wants to hear your half-hearted cries.

August 4, 2006 @ 3:23 am | Comment

I am a proud Chinese, a Peta member and a proud vegan / anti-fur person and what offends me more than what my race does to animals is how westerners treat us. Think of the people you’re talking about when you’re dissing a whole race and culture.

August 10, 2006 @ 6:09 pm | Comment

I can’t believe some people actually defend the treatment of these animals. Even Chinese citizens in China voice their disapproval of the fur trade’s cruelty in China. Animal cruelty is wrong no matter where.

August 18, 2006 @ 4:33 pm | Comment

Such horrific cruelty to animals….dogs,cats, plus other animals, skinned, boiled,tortued alive..infront of the next victim……would you wish that on yourself? The import of St Bearnards dogs and other breeds to China, bred, bred, bred….in terrible conditions…such loveing gentle, loyal dogs or cats….how can we humans be so cruel. Many seem to take delight in this torture, no comprehension of the suffering of animals…so sad. Sir Paul and his daughter I think have been true friends of animals (as Linda was) Like many,I respect their integrity and bravery in denouncing such cruelty….are you brave????

August 31, 2006 @ 1:50 pm | Comment

M. Gandhi said: the moral progress of a nation is judged by how it treats its animals.

I see a lot of very defensive and racist comments here born out of anger.

It is clear that in China suffering to animals is common, and this suffering is caused and controlled by human beings in China.

September 30, 2006 @ 6:46 am | Comment

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