- Title: CHINA: ST BERNARD DOGS BECOMING POPULAR AS MEAT DISH IN CHINA.
- Date: 30th March 2001
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (RECENT) (REUTERS) CHEFS PREPARING DOG MEAT DISHES IN SINO-KOREAN "DOG MEAT KING" KITCHEN CHEF BENDING OVER HUGE BUCKET OF UNIDENTIFIED FRESH DOG PARTS FROM RECENTLY SLAUGHTERED DOG FROM THE RESTAURANT DOG FARM CHEF'S HANDS PULLING OUT SKINNED DOG'S HEAD WITH EARS AND SNOUT CUT OFF, DOG RIBS AND LEG CHEFS PREPARING DISHES CHEF STIR-FRYING DOG CHOPS IN WOK CHEF MOVING WOK AWAY FROM FLAMES YOUNG PEOPLE ENJOYING DOG MEAT DISHES CHOPSTICKS PICKING UP STIR-FRIED DOG CHOPS CHOPSTICKS MOVING BRAISED DOG PAWS TO PLATE VARIOUS OF LIU ZHIXIN, 23-YEAR-OLD STUDENT EATING BRAISED DOG PAW, PULLING MEAT OF BONE PLATE OF DOG PAW BONES SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) LIU ZHIXIN, 23-YEAR-OLD STUDENT, SAYING "I like eating dog tenderloin the most. It's really tender and best eaten boiled." SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) ZHANG LEI, 25-YEAR-OLD WORKER, SAYING "Chinese people who own dogs would never eat their own dogs, they really love them and treat them like their own children. But these dogs we're eating are specially bred for their meat -- they're like chickens, sheep and cows and so people don't feel bad about eating them."
- Embargoed: 14th April 2001 13:00
- Location: BEIJING, SHENYANG, LIAONING PROVINCE, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Conflict,Environment,Industry,Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA6W6JO5YMY59DYSZ14XXYOE8Q0
- Story Text: In Switzerland, St Bernard dogs, famed for their
skills as rescue dogs in the Alpine snows, are known as
But in China, their size has become a major selling point
for breeders who are looking to meet the growing demand for
dog meat delicacies.
Animal welfare groups and the Swiss public have become
outraged that St. Bernards are being bred for their meat.
Sweet tasting and good for your health - that's the
traditional view of dog meat which has always been a popular
dish in many parts of Asia and China.
At the Sino-Korean "Dog-Meat King" restaurant, one of
Beijing's largest dog restaurants, chefs fish out freshly
slaughtered chunks of dog head, tenderloin and leg in
preparation for the evening rush.
The dogs, whose breed was not disclosed, are specially
bred in the restaurant's dog farm near Beijing.
"Dog Meat King" offers over 50 dog dishes prepared in a
variety of rich sauces and styles. Braised dog paws are a big
favourite along with stir-fried dog chops and boiled tail.
A group of young Beijing people enjoying a meal at the
restaurant, said it was a delicacy they enjoyed several times
a year -- while their own dogs waited at home.
"I like eating dog tenderloin the most. It's really tender
and best eaten boiled," 23-year-old Liu Zhixin said.
"Chinese people who own dogs would never eat their own
dogs, they really love them and treat them like their own
children. But these dogs we're eating are specially bred for
their meat -- they're like chickens, sheep and cows and so
people don't feel bad about eating them," said 25-year-old
Increasing demand for dog meat has encouraged
entrepreneurs to find news ways of raising their yield and in
recent months, breeders have turned to Saint Bernard dogs
because of their high farrowing rate, huge size and resistance
to disease - sparking strong protests from Switzerland where
the dogs are a national symbol.
In a video from one state-run Saint Bernard breeding farm
in northeastern Shenyang city, the farm says breeding St
Bernards is a lucrative business.
The farm cross-breeds St Bernards imported from
Switzerland with local dogs. According to a worker at the
farm, the majority of dogs are sold for their meat, while a
"small" percentage are kept as pets.
In recent months, a petition signed by 11,000 St Bernard
breeders and owners worldwide was submitted to the Swiss
government by SOS St Bernard International, a Geneva-based
group, to demand action.
Dog-meat, said to create a deep warmth in the body, is a
traditional delicacy in China, particularly in southern
regions, and in other parts of Asia.
Animal welfare organisations, like the International Fund
for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are outraged that Saint Bernards are
being bred for their meat.
IFAW has been petitioning the Chinese government to
introduce new animal cruelty laws, which do not exist in
China, and they have condemned the latest fad for dog meat.
"I mean, St. Bernards have contributed so much to people
in terms of rescuing -- they have been the nation's symbol,
the Swiss symbol for so many years. And it is like, if a
Chinese cannot understand why Swiss people get so upset that
they are eating St.Bernards, I would ask that same question --
if Swiss people eat China's panda how would Chinese feel?"
Grace Ge Gabriel, County Director at China office asked.
But while many Chinese people enjoy the occasional dog
meal, more and more people are opting to own a dog -- the
tinier and fluffier the better.
Pet dogs, which used to be frowned on as capitalist luxury
can now be seen all around Beijing.
These little puppies are heading for a warm home and a
loving owner - unlike larger dogs reared for their meat who
are heading for the dining table.
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