Don’t steal our friends! Chinese villagers given advice to thwart dog thieves

18 June 2019

rural villagers with advice compilation


Rural villagers in Guangxi province, home of Yulin city, are vulnerable to dog thieves, but students returning home brought advice to keep loved ones safe.

Animals Asia’s in-depth investigations into the dog meat trade in China revealed not only that most dogs cruelly slaughtered by the industry are stolen rather than farmed, but also that rural communities are most at risk from theft.

To help protect rural populations and their canine companions from an unthinkable fate, Animals Asia enlisted the help of students in Guangxi province, home to Yulin city, who are dedicated to preventing cruelty.

These students returned to their rural communities during Lunar New Year armed with thousands of calendars, leaflets and banners advising communities how they can protect their loved ones from dreaded dog thieves.

READ MORE: Five Reasons the Dog Meat Trade Must End

Animals Asia Cat and Dog Welfare Director Irene Feng said:

“All year round, innocent families are waking up to find their much-loved companion animals have disappeared in the night, fresh victims of the brutal dog meat trade and disadvantaged, remote rural communities are most at risk.

“Awareness is key to preventing such cruelty and we found that people who knew, were more than willing to help spread the word to prevent people in their communities suffering the grief of losing loved companions. Now these communities are better equipped to protect their cats and dogs and thieves will find their prey harder to come by.”

Online research conducted in January 2019 by Animals Asia revealed that nearly 65% of people still believe that dogs slaughtered for their meat are bred on dog meat farms, while around 40% don’t realise their dogs are at risk from theft.

READ MORE: The Truth about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and How to Stop It

Over 100 student animal lovers delivered 10,000 calendars, 10,000 leaflets and displayed 100 banners in 20 cities across the province. Their awareness raising work reached 42 at-risk villages.

The materials advised dog owners to be vigilant of thieves while also advocating the de-sexing of animals to avoid over-breeding.

A survey of the students who took part to spread the word showed that 85% of these compassionate volunteers believed the materials had successfully raised awareness among the villagers in rural communities.

Young children read banners protecting dogs


Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“Dog meat thieves can strike anywhere in the country, on any given day of the year. It is vital that rural communities everywhere know the dangers and how to protect their loved companion animals from a fate none of us can imagine. Thanks to these compassionate volunteers, thousands of dogs are safer, while less defenceless individuals will find themselves victims of this unconscionable industry. ”

Despite an estimated 10 million dogs being slaughtered every year for the meat trade, Animals Asia investigators could not find a single large-scale meat dog breeding facility in the country.

Our 2015 report concluded: “In China there is no large-scale, intensive ‘meat dog’ breeding. Most dogs that end up on the dining table are in fact much-loved domestic dogs stolen from their owners, or captured stray dogs.”

You can help end the dog meat trade in China. Stand shoulder to shoulder with the brave Chinese activists on the frontline, fighting the dog and cat meat trade, every single day.

Together we can end this cruelty. Sign the petition.

Animals Asia’s Cat and Dog Welfare work in Guangxi province is carried out by Ya Dong Consulting, a consultancy enterprise wholly owned and advised by Animals Asia.

villager hangs calander on her wall