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Major Chinese online retailer removes over 130 dog meat products

04 July 2017

Taobao – China’s equivalent of Ebay – has scrubbed more than 130 dog meat products from their site after being contacted by Animals Asia.

Alibaba Group – the world’s largest retailer, and owner of Taobao – banned dog meat and bear bile products from all its virtual stores in 2010 after meeting with Animals Asia staff.

However, it was recently discovered that unscrupulous sellers continued to flout the ban by using alternative names for the products which Taobao’s automated protocols couldn’t detect.

But after being informed in June 2017 of the new methods being used to sell the banned goods, Taobao acted swiftly and pulled more than 130 products.

Animals Asia’s Cat and Dog Welfare Director Irene Feng said:

“Taobao have been very quick to remove the products and are very cooperative on this issue. As a company, the Alibaba Group decided seven years ago that it would not allow itself to be part of the cruelty and illegality inherent in the dog meat industry and they have reaffirmed that once again here.

“It’s not easy to police a platform as enormous as Taobao but we are making it as difficult as possible for those that seek to flout the ban.”

When Alibaba employees first met Animals Asia staff, they were so appalled by the true nature of the bear bile and dog meat industries that they not only vowed never to sell such products, they even adopted a rescued moon bear at Animals Asia’s China sanctuary.

Alibaba

Moon bear Alibaba was the lucky recipient of Alibaba’s care and spent four happy, pain-free years at the Chengdu sanctuary before passing away in 2014.

Alibaba and Charley - Sal

Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“As one of the largest and well-known platforms in China, Taobao is setting a compassionate example for similar websites across the country. Taobao – and their parent company Alibaba – are showing China that these products are not an intrinsic part of China’s traditions and are certainly not part of its economic future.”

In 2016, one of China’s leading food order platforms ele.me made a similar move by banning the sale of dog meat, bear bile, bear paw, shark fin and a number of other wildlife products from their platform.

China’s dog meat trade is estimated to be responsible for the deaths of 10 million canines a year across the entire country.

Dogs in cage

A long-term Animals Asia investigation into the dog and cat meat trade in China found widespread illegality and public health concerns at every stage of the supply chain.

The investigation, released in 2015, found no evidence of any large-scale farms, fuelling long-standing accusations that most meat dogs are stolen pets and strays.

Many of these animals are poisoned during capture or have no proof of origin and vaccination histories as required by law – raising serious health concerns.

With so many pets being stolen and inadequate police action taken, vigilante violence has become common with both dog thieves and owners being killed in brutal confrontations across the country.

Animals Asia, via Ya Dong – a consultancy wholly owned and advised by the Hong Kong-based NGO – deploys a holistic approach to ending the cat and dog meat trade which runs year-round. 

Love Animal Model School - with Professor Fanshu


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