At a butcher shop stall in the central market of Paradise Town, the enthusiastic shopkeeper was shouting loudly while cutting the dog meat on the chopping board with a bone cutter, a few dogs that have been peeled are hanging on the meat hooks, just like pork and beef.
Paradise Town is located in the southwest of Xinxing County, Yunfu City. Drivers who often take the Shan-Zhan Expressway probably know that the dog meat steamed vermicelli roll here is very famous, and dog meat has become a local food business card. When Yulin, Guangxi, 200 kilometers away, fell into the whirlpool of public opinion because of the Dog Meat Festival, this relatively occluded western Guangdong town can still keep its customs quietly.
On March 31, Shenzhen passed a law prohibiting the consumption of cats and dogs. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs also issued a draft for a consultation to remove dogs from the livestock management directory. Dog meat customs in many parts of Guangdong, including Paradise Town, may usher in a legal end.
Dog meat is an Open Secret
For many people in Paradise Town, the morning starts with a bowl of dog meat steamed vermicelli roll.
“Okay, a bowl of dog meat powder.” At 7 a.m. on April 11, the owner of Wexiange on Guangming Road had cooked the dog meat and was busy greeting the guests. The owner said that every morning, the store will sell local “paradise dog meat steamed vermicelli roll” and dog meat powder, and will also sell dog meat directly to regular customers. Although there are only four or five small tables in the store, at least one dog can be sold every day.
Walking in Paradise Town, you can hardly see stray dogs, but restaurants selling “dog meat steamed vermicelli roll” are very common. The reporter observed that in the vicinity of the lively vegetable market in Paradise Town, there are almost ten breakfast shops selling “Paradise Dog steamed vermicelli roll”. Many shops directly put the dog meat on the signboard, and the dog meat is always in a prominent position on the menu.
Some restaurants will have some concerns and do not put dog meat on the food brand, but as long as customers ask, they can basically get a positive answer. There is no dog meat on the menu of Jian’an Road Natural Residence Hotel. After the reporter asked, the boss responded enthusiastically, “Yes, red braised heavenly dog meat, 55 yuan a catty, do you want to try it.” As for why there is no dish, the boss said: Acquaintances will point directly.
“Leizhou’s method is to boil white-cut dogs, we are red braised.” The owner of the steamed vermicelli roll shop is quite complacent about the local method of cooking dog meat. “We will put orange peel and star anise. The key is to add dog blood and cook one hour”. The boss said that because of the addition of dog blood, the cooked dog meat appears dark black, and the taste and color will be heavier.
“Non-local people will try the special” dog meat Bula steamed vermicelli roll “in Paradise Town.” The boss said that many customers would praise and take pictures. “But because of the heavy taste, not everyone can get used to it, including many locals, too.” The boss added.
Dog trades Hidden in the Village
Not only are dogs prevalent in Paradise Town, but the phenomenon of dog trafficking is also quite common. Many of the vegetable markets and fresh shops in the town have dog meat vendors. Reporters have conducted various investigations and learned that the main source of these dog meats is the free keeping of the villagers. Many dog meat restaurants usually go to the surrounding villages to “collect dogs” in order to ensure the consumption and “freshness” of dog meat.
“Why, do you want to buy a dog?” In front of a village near the town, a middle-aged woman stopped a reporter who was asking the villagers. After asking clearly, the village woman agreed to take the reporter to see the two dogs in her house for sale. Behind an iron fence, two half-sized black dogs lay on the railing and threw their tongues at the master in excitement.
“These two were born in a litter, almost 1 year old, and were born earlier than the two. They had been bought by the restaurant before.” The peasant woman told reporters that the dogs in Paradise Town are superior to black dogs. It has not yet reached the “best age to eat”, but it can also be sold for 20 yuan per catty.
“You said you want to buy a dog, but why didn’t you bring a cage?” In another village, a villager who claimed to sell dogs expressed doubts about the reporter’s motives. After hesitation, she chose to take the reporter to see the dog. In the backyard of her home, there were 5 or 6 gray-yellow rural dogs barking and running back and forth, and a female dog was curled up in the corner of the courtyard, feeding two puppies.
The villagers said that these five or six yellow dogs were of the age they should be sold. If they grow up again, they may be difficult for an adult man to suppress. If someone comes to collect the dog, it usually takes two people to hold the dog’s limbs, and then drag into the prepared iron cage. These “meat dogs” will soon be slaughtered, peeled, and eviscerated, and eventually flow into the vegetable market and dining table.
The Value Conflicts of prohibiting Eating Dog meat
“These dogs generally don’t pass through the slaughterhouse, and the villagers slaughtered them privately, so there is no possibility of a quarantine process.” The staff of the Animal Health Supervision Office in Paradise Town admitted to reporters that there is widespread private trafficking of dog meat in the local area, but “The Health Supervision Office does not have the power to enforce the law, so it cannot intervene.”
Is it legal for farmers to raise so-called “meat dogs” for sale? The reporter inquired about past cases and found that there is no national-level law that explicitly allows or prohibits the sale or consumption of dog meat, and the country has not issued relevant regulations or requirements for dog slaughter and quarantine. The dog meat market is in a substantial gray area.
On March 31, the 40th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Sixth Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress passed the “Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Comprehensive Prohibition of Wild Animals Regulations”, which clearly lists cats and dogs as a prohibited animal list. The Legal Work Committee of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People ’s Congress explained that banning the consumption of cats and dogs is a requirement and embodiment of modern human civilization, and is a common practice in many developed countries and regions.
On April 8, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced on its official website the National Catalogue of Animal Genetic Resources for Animals (Draft for Comment), which mentioned that it was no longer governed by livestock and poultry as a companion animal. Experts believe that this is to deny the legitimacy of eating and selling dogs from a legal perspective.
For fasting dog meat, most residents of Paradise Township are unacceptable.
“Just like eating chicken, what’s the difference?” The owner of Weixianju told reporters that although people in the town also keep dogs as pets, dog meat has always been delicious food in their hometown, and the two do not conflict. Many locals said that in Paradise Town, eating dog meat has a history of hundreds of years. Eating dog meat in the summer solstice is like eating dumplings on the Dragon Boat Festival. This tradition should be respected.
“In fact, even in the Guangdong and Guangxi regions, there are not many people who eat dog meat. This” custom “objectively encourages rampant dog theft, dog poisoning, and illegal dog keeping.” Volunteer volunteers who have been engaged in dog protection for many years Director Xiao of the Center felt that government departments should guide people to understand the correct values, “No dog meat is the embodiment of modern civilization.”
Liao Jianxun, a lawyer at Guangdong Baodian Law Firm, believes that the state should severely crackdown on illegal dog trafficking, but the legislation on fasting dog meat should give local freedom to choose, “If fasting dog meat becomes a consensus in the local area, then fast Laws will naturally be enforced. But forcibly violating public opinion and customs across the board will bring about many conflicts of value and practical difficulties. “