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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"St Bernards For The Chinese Dinner Table"

Blogger: Animals: They Are Not Our Property. We Are Not Their Owners. - Edit Post "St Bernards For The Chinese Dinner Table"
St Bernard Website

On this page you will find various articles and letters of relevance to the eating of St Bernard dogs.

Translation of an article published in the Chinese newspaper "Orient Express" on July 16, 1998:

Saint Bernards become food dogs - Mainland China promotes import

Despite the Chinese government’s constant declaration of its extraordinary achievements in environmental and wildlife protection, some government agencies recently are promoting the import of Saint Bernards for food. Chinese experts recently found that for massive captive breeding and killing for meat, the best kind of dogs is the Saint Bernards, which are imported from Switzerland, also called "Big Dumb Dog"

According to the China Central Television in Beijing, the experts pointed out that Saint Bernards are fast growing and disease resistant. The advantages of using them for food dogs are that they eat less than other dogs but breed fast. Because they rest immediately after meals, they grow faster too, on average gaining over one pound per day. Within a month, they could grow to be over 30 pounds. In three to four months, they will be ready for the market.

Beside the obvious advantage of fast growing , Saint Bernard also breed fast. On Average a female gives birth once a year. Litter size usually is around nine to twelve, nearly double that of other breeds. The CCTV reports also stressed that Saint Bernards are kind and friendly in nature. They don not bite people, so the breeders need not worry. "Big Dumb Dogs" are usually trained for rescue purposes in winter.

Translation of an article in the Chinese newspaper "Beijing Youth Daily" of September 16, 99:

Good news, new food for the dinner table before National Day

With the improvement of living standards, people’s diet is changing. Dog meat is becoming a favourite. Due to the increasing market demand, the dog breeding industry is expanding in Beijing. Male Great Dane, St. Bernard, Tibetan Mastiff are chosen to be imported by Beijing HongDing Breeding & Development Co to hybridize with Mongolian dogs to create a new generation of meat dogs. The company set up a new breeding facility in KangXi grassland providing estimated 100'000 meat dogs per year.

Dog meat is fine, tasty and can warm the body. In order to guarantee the quality and hygiene of dog meat, the Beijing HongDing Breeding & Development Co. Takes the following measures: individual breeding, central slaughter and market. The slaughter facility is in the city of Chanping, killing 100'000 a year, Products include marinated dog meat and dog ribs. The company also provides stud dogs and offers job opportunities for laid off workers.

Protest over plight of doomed St Bernards

ISSUE 2090 Tuesday 13 February 2001

By David Rennie in Beijing

THE Swiss parliament is to investigate the plight of thousands of St Bernard dogs being bred in China for their meat.St Bernards are almost unknown as pets in China. But the "Big Dumb Dogs", as the Chinese nickname them, are prized by China's "meat dog" breeders for their gentleness, their rapid breeding and the ease with which they can be fattened up.

A petition signed by 11,000 St Bernard breeders and owners worldwidewas submitted to the Swiss government by SOS St Bernard International, a Geneva-based group. The Swiss embassy in Beijing said yesterday that after such a petition, parliament would normally ask for an official report. But this would probably deal only with reports of dogs being tortured before slaughter to improve meat quality, a diplomat said. He added: "As for the fact that the dogs are eaten, I think Switzerland can do nothing about that officially; these are differences in culture. The more delicate question is how the animals are killed."A staff member at a large state-funded dog farm, the Lin Xing Raising and Propagating Centre in the north-eastern province of Shanxi, said yesterday that St Bernards were a "business with a good future" in China. He added: "We started in spring 1998 with 20 dogs imported from Switzerland. Now we have more than 100 dogs in our centre. "They are really easy to breed. We give them a pound of corn meal aday and some cow offal. The dogs are very large, and their meat is delicious. It is much more nutritious than normal dog meat." The centre quoted prices of 60Yuen for a six-month-old St Bernard or up to ?,000 for an adult male, several years' wages for the average Chinese city-dweller. A brochure published by the Shenyang Agriculture and Science Development Institute, in the far northeastern province of Liaoning, praised the St Bernards' "high farrowing rate", its "fine and tasty" meat and noted that its "gentle disposition is good for group breeding". Returns from meat dog farming were four times higher than from pig farming, the brochure added. There are no animal cruelty laws in China and domestic animals have no protection. There is evidence that meat dogs are deliberately hurt just before slaughter in the belief that adrenalin improves their meat.

Wed, 28 February 2001

St Bernards beef up mainland meat trade

Elisabeth Zingg, Agence France-Presse

CHANGPING: Contrary to the claims of some Western animal-rights groups, Chinese gourmets are not devouring full-blooded St Bernards, but local variations produced through cross-breeding, according to mainland producers. ``St Bernards are too expensive and, besides, too kind,'' said Shou Weiping, the manager of the Xianglong dog-breeding company, while showing off one of his dog farms at Changping, 40 kilometres north of Beijing. The farm, which opened last year and is yet to reach full capacity, houses about 200 dogs, mostly crossbreeds, which are locked up in tiny cages with poor hygiene. The animals retained for breeding are a little more lucky, since some of them are allowed to leave their cages once a day, although they remain tied to a pole. ``You need at least 600 to 1,000 dogs before it starts getting profitable,'' said Mr Shou, a technician who started breeding dogs three years ago and hopes to make a fortune in his new line of business. Cross-breeding pedigree dogs such as St Bernards with less noble samples of the canine species, he is eyeing not just the pet market, but also China's thriving market for dog meat. ``Pure St Bernards are kept merely for breeding,'' he said. ``Only cross-breedings between St Bernards and local dogs are used for butcher's meat.'' Mr Shou confirmed reports that breeders normally killed dogs destined for the butcher by cutting a hole in the paw and bleeding them to death. ``It's true, and it takes them about 10 minutes to die, but this way the meat tastes better,'' he said. According to Dong Dehui, an official with the Research Institute on Canine Meat in the northeastern city of Shenyang, the appetite for dog meat remains high in the northeast of China and in the south. ``Dogs have great nutritional value, and their meat is tender and has a beneficial effect on kidney and spleen diseases,'' he said. Mr Dong's ``institute,'' which is partly financed by the Liaoning provincial government, is also involved in breeding dogs for meat. It imports three or four St Bernards every year for breeding, and makes two to three million yuan a year. The St Bernard dog is popular among Chinese breeders because of its size - it can weigh as much as 100 kilograms - its strength, and the money it can fetch. ``This kind of dog grows really fast, even though it eats less than two yuan worth of food every day, and even less if it's a crossbreed,'' said Mr Dong. ``And the female can give birth to 10 to 12 puppies every year.'' The meat sells for 17 yuan a kilogram in the northeast, rising to 20 yuan around Beijing, making it a better deal than pork for many breeders. ``The Chinese started eating dog well before they began eating pork,'' said Mr Dong.

This is a copy of a website that was withdrawn at the end of 2000.

Introduction of breeding St. Bernard

Home Breeding Base of Breeding St. Bernard of the North China

The famous St. Bernard dogs whose native haunt are originally in Switzerland. Because of its rescuing in the snowy mountains, the dogs are world-renowned. In China, the dogs are suitable to growing on both sides of the Changjiang River. The dogs to be evolved as the paternal of meat-producing dogs have the following good points:

1. Strong and big bodily form: an adult male dog weights over 75-100kg and an adult female weights more than 60-85 kg.

2. Fast growth: a male dog weights about 60 kg for 6 months and a female dog weights about 50 kg for 6 months.

3. High breeding rate: a female dog for 8 months reaches the age of puberty, each average 2 litters a year and 8-12 young at a birth.

4. Long whelp-bearing age: the common life of the dog is about 20 years and the normal whelp-bearing time reaches above 10 years.

5. Obvious heterosis: St. Bernard dog as the male parent crosses with a local dog to evolve a cross fattening dog, the mature dog weighs 40-50 kg, and its meat is fresh, tender, tasty and delicious.

Brief introduction of the world fine super large dog---St. Bernard breeding

St. Bernard is one of fine super larger dogs in the world and its native haunt is originally in Switzerland. In recent years, the State Science and Technology Commission has organized the experts and professors to go to European countries on the tour of investigation and demonstration many times, through the selection from hundreds of famous and precious dogs, deciding to introduce the world-famous dogs that incorporate with the strong points of rare dog, table dog, hound, police dog and family pet. In a few years, some experts and professors in the animal husbandry of China, through the study, tameness, purification, rejuvenation and crossbreeding, have evolved the new breed of St. Bernard---the meat-producing breeding dogs that adapt to the climate in the north and south of China. They advance the concept about taking St. Bernard dogs as the male parent to cross and evolve the new breed, which is approved by the mass of consumers. The two and multiple cross breed source to be evolved on the basis of pedigree breeding, which fills in the gaps in the fields of super large meat-producing dog breed and opens a new way to artificially propagate the world super large meat-producing dogs in China.

The St. Bernard dogs to be evolved as the paternal of meat-producing dogs have the following characteristics:

1. Strong and big bodily form: an adult male dog weights over 75-100kg and an adult female weights more than 60-85 kg.

2. Fast growth: a male dog weights about 60 kg for 6 months and a female dog weights about 50 kg for 6 months.

3. Strong disease resistance: the disease resistance and immunity of meat-producing dogs through the crossbreeding are stronger than other pureblooded dogs. Its illness and death rate is very low.

4. Strong adaptability: the St. Bernard dogs adapt to the different climates such as high and cold, scorching, dry and moist.

5. High breeding rate: a female young dog for 8 months and a male young dog for 11 months reach the age of puberty. The period of pregnancy of a female dog is 60 days, each average 2 litters a year and 8-12 young at a birth.

6. Easy raising: the big, strong and week dogs are easy of access with stockmen and fit for raising in groups, cages and families.

7. High feed conversion: the fodders are mainly the maize flour and vegetables (like Chinese cabbage and carrot, etc.), and appropriately added into the animal viscera and other supplemental feed. Its feeding is sample and cost is low. The feed efficiency is 2-3 times than the common farm dogs.

8. Obvious heterosis: a St. Bernard as the male parent crosses with a local dog as a female parent, a mature dog of the first filial generation weighs 40-50 kg.

9. Long whelp-bearing age: the common life of the St. Bernard is about 20 years and the normal whelp-bearing time reaches 8-10 years.

10. Fine meat: the meat-producing dogs of St. Bernard cross, because of big and strong bodily form and loins, its meat is tender, tasty, delicious and nourishing after full-grown and slaughter, and has the effects such as nourishing Yin, tonifing the kidney, improving human health, nourishment and physiological regulation for human body.

11. Considerable economic performance: at present, a breeding St. Bernard belonging to rare animals is the largest dog in the world. Because of its very high economic value and short breed source, the quantity demanded of market is great. At the moment, the original breed of young St. Bernard born for 45 days, 4-6 kg in weight, the price each pair a male and a female is RMB 15,000, a male dog is RMB 5,000 and a female dog is RMB 10,000. The price of an adult dog is RMB 30,000-50,000£¨a male dog has the same cost with a female dog. The F1 dogs born for 45 days, about 4 kg in weight, the price each pair is RMB 1,500-2,000. In 3-5 years, If the price of a young dog is RMB 2,000 according to the lowest price and each adult dog averagely bears 16 young 2 litters a year, the income is RMB 30,000, but the cost of feed, labor and medicine for a breeding dog only needs RMB800 every year, thus the net income for a breeding dog is about RMB 30,000 every year. If the breeding dogs are sold at the present price, the economic returns are more considerable.

The practice proves that the high efficient industry is to develop the raising and propagation of breeding and meat-producing dogs of St. Bernard. Its benefits are 4 times than raising pig and 3 times than poultry.

If preparations are started for a small raising and propagating farm, generally, the cost for introducing the fine breeds is RMB 20,000-200,000, the breeding dogs are to be introduced according to big, medium and small size, which can yield returns in the first year and enter the period of benefit. If the cost for introducing the fine breeds is RMB 500,000 only, the considerable scope of raising and propagating base can be established.

Breeding Base of Breeding St. Bernard of the North China

Introduction of breeding St. Bernard

The Breeding Base of Breeding St. Bernard of the North China, under Lin Xing Raising and Propagating Company of Shanxi Datong Coal Mining Administration. The base was founded in 1998, covering the area of 6,000 square metres, and making an investment of RMB 2,690,000. The lawn with the area of more than 4,000 square metres in the centre of the base partitions over 200 doghouses into 3 parts of east, south and west. In the backyard, there are dog walk of 500 square metres and separate region of 300 square metres. The base surrounded by the green area 350 metres in length and 2 metres in breadth, has convenient communications and beautiful environment. In the base, there are the professional stockmen, veterinaries, table and delicatessen workshop, medical scientific research institution, reception department for external exchange, and all the necessary supporting facilities such as heating, water supply, disinfection, epidemic prevention, raising, breeding, isolation and bath. The amount of young breeding St. Bernard dogs are more than 200 pairs a year.

At present, the base is the largest scope of breeding center of meat-producing breeding St. Bernard dog and the center of breeding St. Bernard dog for breeding, sales and technical advice.

The base mainly studies: crossbreeding of fine meat-producing dog, purification and rejuvenation of breeding dog, feed ingredients of meat-producing and breeding dogs, and demonstration and popularization of raising and management. Taking the male St. Bernard dogs as the male parent mate with the local female dogs to produce the meat-producing dogs of the first filial generation (F1) and making use of the heterosis to evolve the meat-producing dogs, which have a vast range of prospects and the valve of popularization. In the course of breeding, the fattening male dogs of F1 are sold and the female dogs go on the cross of second generation, which has more obvious superiority.

In the region of shortage of breeding dogs, the first filial generation (F1) and the second filial generation (F2) bred as the breeding dogs, which also achieves good results.

Under the present situation of demand exceeding supply for the breeding dogs and young dogs, the base wishes that the customers planning to establish the breeding farms contact with it in advance, it will provide the relevant consultant service.

The base is trying to meet the requirement of customers and provides the lifelong service advice for the selling dogs including exchange and swap of dogs, epidemic prevention and treatment for dog diseases, guiding the breeding and personnel training.

Breeding Base of Meat-producing Breeding St. Bernard of Lin Xing Raising and Propagating Company of Shanxi Datong Coal Mining Administration

ADD: Yingxin Street, Xinpingwang, Datong, Shanxi, China P.C.: 037003

TEL: (86-352) 7058123 FAX: (86-352) 7010537

Press Release

Saint Bernard dogs favorite food dogs in China

On 5th February 2001 we will deposit a petition with approx. 11'000 signatures at the Swiss government in Bern, mainly signed by Saint Bernard dog owners and breeders all over the world.

The signers of this petition, who take care of the image of Saint Bernard dogs and therefore also of the image of Switzerland, expect from the Swiss Government an intervention at the Chinese government. We want a clear feedback on what is happening with the Saint Bernard dogs in China. We also expect from the Chinese government suggestions how to stop this abject business. Saint Bernard dogs are adored all over the world for their historic background as rescue dogs and their gentle character.

We already know that the Chinese breed since 5 years Saint Bernard dogs in an industrial way as reproduction dogs for food dogs. They imported pure breed Saint Bernard dogs from Western countries . The manager of the breeding site in Shanxi (China), whose site is financed by the Chinese government, says very clearly that just now he is breeding pure breed Saint Bernard dogs but he expects with his 90 Saint Bernard dogs to become in a few years the biggest dog meat factory in China. Presently there are 20 industrial Saint Bernard breeding sites all over China. The Chinese breeders say, that in a few years there will as many Saint Bernard dogs in China as cows and sheep. Their slogan is, that breeding Saint Bernard dogs is 4 times more profitable than pigs and 3 times more profitable than chicken. In addition the meat of Saint Bernard dogs seems to be particularly tasty and healthy for the human body.

It also has to be mentioned that animals are slaughtered in a very painful way in China. The aim of slaughtering animals slowly and with extreme pain is to increase the level of adrenaline in the body of the animal.

Can Switzerland watch silently what is happening to Saint Bernard dogs in China and at the same time present to tourists these rescue dogs as a historic symbol of Switzerland? The answer is NO!

The signers of this petition expect a clear answer from the Swiss government.

We can also be reached by phone at the following number: +41 78 77 39 809.

Geneva, 27th January 2001

Assoc. SOS Saint Bernard Dogs ?International, case postale 56, CH-1211 Genève 7

Bienvenue sur le site de l'association SOS Saint Bernard dogs - International

Summary of a TV show on the Chinese National TV

Breeding of Saint Bernard dogs in China

Name : Shenyang Food Dog Research Institute

Location : Shenyang City, North China

Established since October 1991

Research staff : 26

Director : Su Chi-Yong ?specialised in food dog research

The Institute has been researching on dog eating since 1996 and found out that Saint Bernard dogs could be best for eating. The reasons for this are :

they are strong and of big bodily form

they grow fast

They are very disease resistant

they have a very high breeding rate (twice as many puppies as other breeds)

their meat is fine and tastes very good

As the times change, more and more people find dog meat nutritious and with medical function for the human body. Therefore, dog meat industry could be one of the most popular businesses in China. The institute has been reporting on the media on its famous and advanced research on Saint Bernard dog meat. Many important government officers have visited the institute. The institute invested 4 millions in research on dog meat and imported Saint Bernard dogs from Europe. According to their research, compared to the dog meat from the frontier area which are the main resource of dog meat in China now, Saint Bernard dogs are more expensive but better. The male Saint Bernard are very suitable for mating with the local female dogs in China so that the second generation are 25% bigger and grow up 25% faster. Economically speaking, to raise Saint Bernard dogs is 4 times more profitable than pigs and 3 times more profitable than raising chicken.

Apart from the breeding centre in Shenyang, there are still 16 breeding centres which mainly focus on mixed Saint Bernard breeding.

Geneva, July 2000

Translation of an article published on 21st February 2001 in "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (Germany)Fondue with Swiss meat dog

Chinese cuisine has discovered Saint Bernard dogs ?the guests are enthusiastic ?an animal protection organisation in Geneva is shocked

The Saint Bernard dog, says Mr. Li, has an extraordinary future. This dog is indeed an exceptional dog. Rarely human beings had such a good and useful friend. The Saint Bernard dog’s courage and strength is legendary. In the darkest night these dogs on the Great Saint Bernard could find lost travellers under the snow. This was 200 years ago but still this dogs loyalty and gentleness is praised. The Chinese like the Saint Bernard dogs too "Its meat is so tender and of an exceptionally good taste" praises Li.

Mr. Li’s breeding site is in Datong, This place used to produce coal. They have lived of this industry many years. But the Shanxi-coal mine has financial problems since quite a while and they have been looking for new incomes. That is how they have started the Linxing-Saint Bernard breeding site. The former coal mine worker are now breeding Saint Bernard dogs. They cross them with local breeds and sell the puppies to restaurants.

The Saint Bernard dog is not known since a long time in China. That’s why discovering this breed still adds to the euphoria concerning these dogs. ?nbsp;The ideal meat dog ? comments professionally Professor Du Shaoyue in the Chinese TV CCTV. "Good news for the holidays ?Saint Bernard dog meat is available", announces the Beijing Youth Journal.

In the Saint Bernard’s home country there is not the same joy. ?nbsp;Can Switzerland watch silently what happens to the Saint Bernard dogs in China ? ? asks shocked the Geneva based organisation ?nbsp;SOS Saint Bernard Dogs ?International ?and answers immediately with a clear NO ! 11'000 signatures from breeders and owners of Saint Bernard dogs in the whole world has been deposited at the Swiss government in Bern on 5th February. For the spokes-woman of SOS Saint Bernard Dogs ?International it is clear, the Swiss government has to interfere in Beijing ?now. Before Saint Bernard dogs were life saving dogs, now they are in trouble, they need our help, says Moser. She foresees the consequences for the image of China : "Chinese fill their stomach with Saint Bernard dog meat and then they come to visit Switzerland, the home land of Saint Bernard dogs. This is ridiculous." And for the Chinese business ?"who will still want to go to Chinese restaurants".

Roasted legs

In East Beijing at "Gourou Wang" the guests do not have to worry. Translated the name means "King of dog meat". One can only enter with a booking, as the restaurant is always full. In winter the dog fondue is particularly popular, as it warms the body, as they waitress says. The guests are Chinese and Koreans for which dog meat has been part of their food since decades.

History books tell that 2000 years ago China’s Han king had on his menu already meat of panthers and dog meat served with celery. Soon medical handbooks spread the news that dog meat was good for the kidneys. Until today it is still considered as a health food co-ordinating Yin and Yang. With the Yin character it still manages to warm the body. That is why Chinese eat more dog meat in winter. In Korea the opposite happens, dog meat is eaten mainly in summer.

So far in China there were industrial breeders for cows and pork but not for dogs until the Saint Bernard industrial breeders appeared. There are many dog breeds in the world and there is not only one type of meat dog, says Professor Du in the Chinese TV show and continued that only Saint Bernard dog males could be the best father of meat dogs. While in the TV show classic music starts playing the camera films Saint Bernard puppies playing in the grass. At the same time the speaker praises the advantages of these dogs, their size, their gentleness, their resistance to diseases, their rapid growth. The market expectations are excellent, says Song Shiyong, the boss of the research laboratory in Shenyang. He adds that breeders can expect 3 to 4 times more income with Saint Bernard dogs than with chicken or pigs. This is the way to wealth!

The Shenyang centre announces proudly that they have so far created 48 sites with a total of 5000 Saint Bernard dogs. Eaten are cross-breaded Saint Bernard dogs, from Saint Bernard males and local females. The newspaper for Animal and Fish industries complains that import of Saint Bernard dogs was difficult, because foreigners who are not used to dog eating do not easily sell dogs to China.

Questioning of the population in Beijing and Shanghai confirmed that 43% have already eaten dog meat. Guo Lizhen, a teacher belongs to those who do not eat dog meat. She has a pet. Presently approx. 160'000 people in Beijing have pets as companion dogs. She has once been the witness of dog eating. Her friend ate with appetite the dog meat, while Guo shouted at him. Her friend is French.

Traditionally dog meat is eaten in Canton and Korea. A European diplomat, defenders of this habit say that there is no difference between eating a Saint Bernard dog and a calf. For SOS Saint Bernard Dogs International there is a difference - a calf has not yet saved human lives.

Animal protectors in China protest mainly against the brutal slaughtering methods. Many beat the dog to death, others burn off the skin of an animal which is still alive, reports Grace Gabriel of International Fund for Animal Welfare IFAW. The reason for this is the widespread believe that the suffering animal, which in its panic develops an important quantity of adrenaline, makes the meat tender.

The indifference and brutality, of which foreigners often speak, says Grace Gabriel, herself native Chinese, can be explained by the present situation in the country. In China people have to go through so much suffering that any kind of mercy has been destroyed in the Chinese population.

So far there is no animal protection law ?but they get more and more positive feedback from the authorities.

The Swiss diplomacy does not see that this issue spoils the the relation with Beijing. If Switzerland wants to become the international leader for the protection of the Saint Bernard dogs still has to be evaluated, says the spokesman of the Swiss embassy. The petition will follow the regular diplomatic route and will be studied by a commission, comments the embassy spokesman, Daniel Zehnder.

In the meantime in the coal mine city Datong the Saint Bernard breeders cannot follow the demand. Li comments, "The demand is unbelievable . We produce 70 to 80 pounds of dog meat per day in our own slaughter house". The meat is sold for approx. 3 Deutschmark per pound. They have waiting list mainly from Beijing and Canton. He says, "We are expanding now".

Geneva, 21st February 2001

Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch

President I O C

P.O. Box 356

1007 Lausanne


20th February 2001

Ref: Chinese are candidates for Olympic Games yet they disgracefully eat Saint Bernard dog meat.

Dear Sir,

Although China appears to be a beautiful and friendly country, it is nonetheless now developing a number of unorthodox practices in creating cruel businesses inflicting pain to animals. Its brutal social behavior towards four-legged companions is in sheer contradiction with the world-wide well-established loyal and righteous Olympic spirit.

It is for this reason that we wish to draw your attention to the documentation attached herewith, published world-wide which also gave rise to a number of important press articles, TV and radio interviews. All over the world, other organizations are making the general public aware of these brutal acts and strongly protest against these unorthodox and savage practices. Dogs are being slowly and cruelly tortured to get their adrenaline flowing well before they are slaughtered to death and this is happening now, today, in China, Korea and Viet Nam.

Following the new market economy in China, the number of Guangdong and Korean restaurants are increasing rapidly indeed. An industrial Saint Bernard dog breeder in China even predicts that the dog meat industry will become one of the most popular industries in China, of which Saint Bernard dogs are considered the most profitable dog breed and with the tastiest meat. Chinese Saint Bernard Breeders are even proud to claim that they have bought their Saint Bernard victim dogs in Switzerland. Indeed they imported pure breed Saint Bernard dogs over the last five years from Western countries with the sole intent and aim of using its flesh as comestible dog's meat.

Your organization has its headquarters in a country where Saint Bernard dogs are introduced on many tourist articles as a national symbol of Switzerland of which reputation as a life-saver is famous all over the world. The Great Napoleon too could count on the help of Saint Bernard dogs when he crossed the Alps with his army over 200 years ago.

China has a wildlife protection act but unfortunately no anti-cruelty legislation at all. Brutal slaughter methods are therefore not punishable at all. These methods are applied to increase the level of adrenaline of dog and cat meat, believed in China to be aphrodisiac intake. Reproduction dogs are kept in unacceptable living conditions and fed on with pig food instead.

It should however be recalled that the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO classifies dogs and cats as non-comestible animals and this ought to apply to all UN Member Countries of which China is a member. It is also worthwhile mentioning that Taiwan has introduced a law in January 2001, forbidding slaughtering and also eating dog and cat meat.

In view of the above, we strongly believe that it would be most unethical and unsuitably proper if Olympic Games were to be held in mainland China for as long as such barbarous practices towards our four-legged companions and friends are permitted. As Swiss Citizens, we consider it an insult to our beloved Switzerland that China uses and promotes a long-standing Swiss National Symbol as industrial meat sold in Chinese food stores and markets.

We trust that the above true facts and sufferings will not be put aside but that proper and immediate action will be taken accordingly. Please join us in order to stop animal cruelty.

We look forward to your reply and support.

Yours faithfully,

SOS Saint Bernard Dogs ?International

Eleonora Moser

Translation of the reply of the Swiss government to SOS Saint Bernard Dogs ?International after depositing the petition on 5th February 2001

Date : 12th March 2001

Petition "What is happening to the Saint Bernard dogs in China ?"


You have deposited on 5th February a petition addressed to the Swiss government, with 11000 signatures. This petition with the title "What happens to the Saint Bernard dogs in China ? Requests from the Swiss government to obtain an authorisation to visit the Saint Bernard dog breeding sites in China from the Chinese authorities. You also ask that the Swiss government should inform the Chinese government that we disagree the use of cats and dogs for food, and mainly with the cruel slaughtering methods. In the name of the Swiss government we would like to reply as follows :

In Switzerland, and in other European countries, the commerce of dog meat for human consumption is forbidden since a while. That dogs are used for food in a number of Asian countries is difficult to understand by people in our countries, as we appreciate dogs as faithful companions and useful helpers. The Swiss government appreciates therefore your efforts in the field of animal protection.

On the other hand we have to be conscious that our European eating habits can also hurt the sensibility of other non-European countries.

Our country has a privileged relation to Saint Bernard dogs, since, as everybody knows, this breed’s name relates to the pass of the Great Saint Bernard, the passage of the Alps between Italy and Switzerland. Even today the monks still breed these famous dogs on the Great Saint Bernard pass. From this point of view it is certainly regrettable that this breed is used for food production.

Saint Bernard dogs are presently breaded all over the world. Only approx. 100 Saint Bernard dogs are born in Switzerland every year. Since the breeders in our country got aware of the fact, that Saint Bernard dogs are used to cross-bread with local Mongolian breeds, the are particularly careful when they export their dogs to make sure the dogs go only to serious places. We suppose that the Saint Bernard dogs in China were therefore not imported from Switzerland but from other countries. China is in fact using various other breeds like Tibetan Mastiffs, Danish dogs and certainly not only Saint Bernard dogs.

It would be appreciated, in our opinion, if the consumers of the concerned countries would stop eating dog meat and would keep their dogs in better conditions.

According to our experience, the measures you propose in your petition are not appropriate to reach this goal. We count on a constant international pressure of the public opinion, as the one which emanates from your petition but also through similar actions in other countries than Switzerland. Such actions could have more effect at long term than a punctual intervention at the Chinese government.

We hope that you will understand that the Swiss government, although we understand your worries, does not see a possibility to intervene at the Chinese authorities. We thank you for your precious action in favour of animals.


Federal Department of Economy

Extract of the WSPA report (following an investigation tour in China)

An WSPA investigation in China has revealed a trend towards the gross intensification of the trade in dog meat, with millions of dogs passing through the hands of breeders and slaughterhouses every year. The Saint Bernard is the latest breed of pedigree dog to fall victim to the increasing commercialisation of the dog meat industry. After producers of the most commonly eaten dog in China - Mongolian Chinese Meat Dog ?discovered the benefits of introducing a Saint Bernard stain into the meat chain.

When WSPA investigators visited five Saint Bernard breeding centres in China, they were alarmed by the scale of the industry. Government funding for private enterprise was behind row upon row of caged Saint Bernard dogs Saint Bernard dogs, each animal waiting to enter the chain of meat manufacture. Promotional brochures openly boasted the breeding of dogs for human consumption, describing the Saint Bernard as a great money-spinner due to its quick growth and low maintenance. Although the sale and consumption of dog meat is nothing new to China and South East Asia, mass production methods are presenting business opportunities that are compromising the welfare of animals even further, and on a previously unprecedented scale.

Why is the Saint Bernard favoured?

Valued for its gentle nature, and known for its early maturity and large yielding litters of puppies, the Saint Bernard has introduced a set of characteristics to a new breed of dog that is producing a more economical and profitable source of meat Promotional literature describes how a Saint Bernard bitch has ten good breeding years to her life, and can produce up to twelve puppies twice a year. Although pure-bred Saint Bernards are not eaten - their flavour is considered to be too bland - they are used for cross-breeding at the beginning of the meat chain. In terms of a family tree, a Saint Bernard's grandchildren will be eaten.

Dog meat: a government enterprise

When WSPA investigators tracked down a Saint Bernard breeding farm located in North West China near Shenyang City, the farm owner confirmed that he sourced his breeding stock from Europe. The majority of the farmer’s dogs were being used to cross-breed with Mongolian Chinese Meat Dogs and produce meat for human consumption.

Established in 1996, the farm is typical of new business ventures that have sprung up across China over the past five years. The Chinese Government is positively welcoming these new and fashionable business ventures, and is giving significant financial support and encouragement.

WSPA’s investigator Trevor Wheeler discovered how a European Saint Bernard’s descendants end up on the dinner plate. “The farmer told us that his establishment was founded with a core of dogs imported from Switzerland and Russia. They arrived in China under the guise of pets. The farmer revealed the truth: more than 75 per cent of my dogs are bred into the meat chain. I have 40 Saint Bernards, and 36 females. Each can produce a litter of between 8 and 12 puppies twice a year, which means that I can sell 700 individual dogs each year. The remaining 25 per cent will probably be sold as pets.

While Trevor Wheeler was in China, he also visited pet trade market at Shenyang. “MMost of the puppies here were far too young to have been separated from their mothers? he said. “SSome of them were just four weeks old, and it was blatantly obvious that they were suffering greatly from exposure to winter temperature of lower than minus 30 degrees centigrade.

How much a Saint Bernard costs

In the remote mining town of Datong, the Saint Bernard Dog Meat Breeding Centre was established in 1998. Occupying 200 acres of land and accommodating approximately 100 dogs, the centre produces some 200 cross-bred puppies each year. Most of them are sold as breeding stock to dog meat farms in the North Eastern and Southern provinces of China, and into Mongolia. A breeding pair of first generation cross dogs would be sold to meat farms for 40'000 RMB (?2'700). These costs contrast greatly with the price of dog meat, whether it’s sold dead or alive. At just 13 RMB (?1.20) for half a kilo, a live dog can amount to no more than ?18. Ready killed and skinned, dog meat is sold for 19 RMB (?.75) per half a kilo.

Rapid expansion

The potential for trading with other countries in South East Asia is currently untapped, but demand exists for exportation to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Korea. At the moment , demand for dog meat is so high in China itself, that supply will not begin to fulfil requirement in other countries. For example, one farm owner cited hotels from the Gwan-Tong area on the East cost as requiring as many as 1'000 dogs every month. There are plans to during 2001, and the breeding centre in Datong already has an extra 48 kennels waiting to house Mongolian Chinese Meat Dogs due to arrive soon. A meat processing factory is also to be added in 2001. This means that by the end of the year 2001, the entire process of breeding pedigrees, cross-breeding, slaughter and meat processing will be completed on site.

Dead meat

The final stage in the production of dog meat is slaughter. In the village of Dong Pu, 30 acres of land house 20 breeding blocks at another dog meat farm. It was established by a senior government official in 1997, when financial sponsorship was given to him by the authorities. Inside the breeding block, each dog occupies an area of just three square metres. Here, the animal will spend their limited lives: no more than eight months. A dirty shed provides the slaughter area, where investigators found two freshly killed and skinned dogs hanging from rusty meat hooks. For brief examination of the carcasses, it was apparent that the dogs had been killed by cutting downwards from the throat towards the heart. This method was confirmed by the farm owner, who described the process in more detail. As dogs are generally feared in China, the staff use long-handled tongs to catch the animal around the neck from what they consider a safe distance. A second member of staff then strikes the dog over the head with an iron bar, and a knife is stuck into the throat and drawn down towards the heart. This leads to profuse bleeding and eventual death. No signs of aggression were witnessed among any dogs bred for meat, and this violent method of slaughter was blatantly unnecessary.

Most dogs are killed between six and eight months old, and can be sold either dead or alive. If a purchaser expresses a preference for a live animal (perhaps for freshness), the dog is subdued by a strike to the head with an iron bar. Following the disabling blow, it is trussed up and carried away. Under these circumstance there is no knowing how the animal meets its end, or how long it must wait, with its limbs tightly bound for death.

Peak demand for dog meat is late Summer to early Autumn when, for instance, the farm in Dong Pu holds around 2'000 dogs, supplying between 40 and 50 dogs each day. Throughout the year, an average supply figure is four to five dogs a day. Some private buyers ask for the fur of the animal for making clothes, and others like to take away drained blood for drinking.

Saint Bernard takes on new meaning

The Saint Bernard is a breed of dog that has a historical bond with man. Its gentle nature, strength and size once earned it the status of mountain rescue dog, and through this affinity, it became one of Switzerland’s national symbols. It acquired its name centuries ago when rescue dogs of this breed were kept by the monks of the hospice at the Great Saint Bernard Pass between Switzerland and Italy. This dignified history is far removed from the factory production methods that lead it to end up as meat on a dinner plate.

Trevor Wheeler concludes: “Tthe breeding of dogs for meat in China is an expanding and profitable business. Although certain breeding stocks are already established, there is always demand for new blood, and this is satisfied by the sale of Saint Bernard dogs from Europe and Russia. Once expansion of breeding programmes allows export to begin into Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Korea, there is no telling how many dogs will leave Europe to fuel a demand for the dinner table in China.

Letter to the Ambassador


Ambassador of the Popular Republic of China

11, Avenue George V

?75008 PARIS Geneva, 4th July, 2001

Mr. Ambassador,

We were very pleased to hear you say on the French TV that you think that everyone should respect the culture of the other. We can only agree to that and would also hope that the Chinese government will soon take the necessary steps to have the Swiss culture respected in your country and will do its utmost to stop breeding, cross-breeding and slaughtering Saint Bernard dogs, Switzerland’s national symbol. Saint Bernard dogs are part of Switzerland’s history since several centuries, as you certainly know. It is not acceptable for us, that Chinese businessmen came specially to Europe and to other continents to buy Saint Bernard dogs, to use them as meat dog, as their flesh was tastier and the commerce more profitable than with animals available locally. These arguments were presented during the propaganda film on CCTV in 1998. We have a copy of the whole film. For your information we send you an English summary of the text of this film. We can ascertain you that this Saint Bernard dog scandal shocks millions of people around the globe.

As a Swiss national I feel that in China the Swiss culture is devoured! What would you think, if Swiss businessmen would go to India to buy holy cows, because they concluded that the Indian cows?meat was tastier and the commerce was more profitable? That is exactly what China is doing with our Saint Bernard dogs, the worldwide recognized symbol of Switzerland’s mountains and life saver!!!!

Concerning the slaughter methods used in China, we would simply like to ask you why you let this happen? We very much hope that the cruel and brutal slaughter methods exercised on animals are not called culture in your country. As a probable future organizer of olympic games, the event which promotes peace, mutual respect and ethic value, cruelty does not have its place and is contradictory to olympic spirit. Your country has a wildlife protection law but none for domestic animals.

China is a country, which has a lot to offer to the world and we are the first ones to wish you prosperity. But can we expect that on your way to wealth you do not trample on our culture and our ethic values? We would find it a wonderful decision, if your government would forbid dog and cat eating, in mainland China, as Thailand as well as Taiwan have done it lately. This could only be benefic to the image and the international commerce of your country. Enclosed find some petitions signed in France.

Yours sincerely,

SOS Saint Bernard Dogs ?International

E. Moser.

Text Box: SOS Saint Bernard Dogs International

A trip to the Chinese hell of Saint Bernard dogs

In China, due to the gap that exists between rich and poor people, the same thing can have 2 opposite reactions. In Shanghai, rich people have dogs as pets and every year they have to pay 2000 Chinese yen tax for their dog. In the rural areas of Central China, the annual income of a family of 4 people hardly reaches this amount. On one side the rich people can take their dogs to a beauty parlour and spend 200 ?300 Chinese yen while poor people will bring their dog to the slaughterhouse to earn 200 ?300 Chinese yen.

Peixian, which is in the province of Jiangsu was the homeland of the king Liubang during the period of Han, who liked to eat dogs. In Peixian, breeding dogs for food has become a new way to get out of poverty. There is a slogan in the region, saying if you breed a Saint Bernard dog, after one year you can buy a Santana (Santana is a popular car brand in China).

Even if in the region of Canton dog eating is very popular, the original region of dog eating is the commune of Peixian, in the north of the province of Jiangsu. Before going to Peixian, we thought that we would have to catch a dog and kill it, in order to get dog meat. Only when we arrived in Peixian we realised that there were breeding sites with a high degree of specialisation from breed improvement to conditioning and marketing. All stages are fully industrialised.

When you become a meat dog breeder, you will be able to build a house and buy a car

When you enter Peixian, on both sides of the roads you can see signs, indicating dog breeding sites and on the walls you will find pictures of Saint Bernard dogs, German Shepard dogs, Danish dogs and other well known breeds. A part of the big industrial sites, you can find farmers who breed 3 ?5 dogs, in order to increase their income, as families in other regions would breed chicken or ducks. A grand-mother tells us when you breed a dog, you can kill it after 4 months and the income is approx 400 Chinese yuen, while breeding pigs makes you lose a lot of time of energy and the income does not reach a quarter of what you gain with a dog. It is not surprising that many farmers now breed dogs. And many of them who have started breeding many dogs, have since been able to build a house in the countryside.

Peixian has indeed become the central region of dog eating, as it has already been the home of the famous Liubang (who liked to eat dog meat). Fan Xian Tao is called the king of dogs in China as he is the 77th grandchild of Fan Hui, who lived during the Han period and was know under the name dog killer. The breeding site of Mr. Fan counts approximately 1000 dogs of improved dog breeds. Mr. Fan has also a meat processing factory. Last year he earned a total of 2 million Chinese yen. The local people say, "Breed a Saint Bernard and after one year you can buy a Santana".

A world famous dog becomes a victim in China

In Mr. Fan's site the dogs are placed in cages with iron bars ?a few dogs in each cage. Saint Bernard, Shepard dogs and Danish dogs. For Mr. Fan these dogs are not worth more than meat, with which he can become rich. When we approached the cages we realised that the dogs were even bigger than the original breeds and their fur of different colours. Mr. Fan explains us that Saint Bernard dogs are too fat. For this reason we brought in specialists to improve the quality of meat and we have decided to cross-breed Saint Bernard dogs with the yellow dog of Subei (a local breed). This way we increase the quantity of skinny meat. The meat becomes also finer and better than the meat of the yellow dog. Even the president Jiang Zemin declared that this meat was delicious after having eaten it.

Although international organisations for the protection of Saint Bernard dogs ask that the breeding of Saint Bernard dogs for food should be stopped in China, the Chinese specialists consider the Saint Bernard dog the most adequate breed for cross-breeding and production of meat dogs. Saint Bernard dogs are of very big size and have a very high breeding rate. Specialists have named the Saint Bernard breeding a highly profitable business of the 21st century. In fact, representatives of the Chinese government have imported the first shipment of Saint Bernard dogs which were then sold to breeders for meat production and reproduction.

Improvement of breed and specialisation of breeding

To avoid that their national symbol becomes food for Chinese people, Switzerland has forbidden export of dogs to countries where dogs are eaten, like China, South Korea, etc. But Mr. Fan tells us that the Saint Bernard dogs and the Danish dogs are imported from Russia at a very high price.

Mr. Fan made proudly the following calculation: When you cross-breed a Saint Bernard dog with a yellow dog of Subei, the dog will be 30% heavier. A dog of 4 months will already weight 35 kg. The female can have 2 litters per year ?hence 8 to 12 puppies. Every cross-bred dog makes you earn 150 Chinese yen more than with a yellow dog of Subei. It is not surprising that the cross-breeding has become a local business speciality.

When we left, a Tibetan dog barked because we went too close to the cage and Mr. Fan asks us to pull back. First we thought that Mr. Fan did this because the cage was maybe not stable enough and the dog could bite us. But Mr. Fan explained that if a dog barks, he uses calories, which makes him lose weight and therefore decreases the price. The level of specialisation of meat dog breeding in Peixian is surprising. Everybody owns a book on dog breeding. In this book you can read how you can avoid that the dogs barks, on can add drugs to make them sleep after eating. In addition this method makes the dog do less physical exercise and the dogs increases his weight quicker. Cutting the tale and the testicles has the same effect. The book further explains how you can inject aphrodisiac products to boost reproduction .

Every part of the dog is a treasure: from the bones to the stones

Before we were only aware that one could eat dog meat, but Peixian was an eye opener. The most precious part of the dog is not the meat, but what they call the “treasure of the dog? They mean by that kidney and gall stones. It seems that medicine produced with these stones is very expensive and very efficient against liver problems. One kilo of these stones can be sold for over 100 yen. That is why these breeders use often very inhumane methods to produce these treasures of dogs. Breeders mix often hair and fur of other animals in the dog’s food. The stomach of the dog cannot digest completely this hair and fur and this provokes the creation of these stones. Breeders then operate the dog to extract the stones. These operations are done repeatedly and the breeder obtains with this an enormous profit. Mr. Fan explains that every part of the dog is a treasure, the fur of the dog can be sold to tailors to make collars for coats, the teeth are sold to Vietnam and Thailand, where they are sold as ivory, they even make a powder out of the dog’s bones, but we do not know what that is used for. Mr. Fan says ironically the dog is the best friend of humans and also the most intelligent animal. That is why dog's brains is the most stimulating food for the human brain.

As dog meat is produced in very big quantities in Peixian, it is conditioned and sold in tins all over the country.

A horrible slaughter method, specially to increase virility

When our taxi driver realised that we were interested in dog meat, he recommended a shop, where dogs are slaughtered. He explained that they slaughter wild dogs which they catch in the street, as their meat is better than the meat of dogs bread in captivity. He adds that the way the dog meat is prepared in Peixian is the most authentic one.

Even if the local government has forbidden slaughter in the street, as it disturbs the traffic, one can see traces of blood everywhere. Once we arrived in the dog meat shop, the owner was about to catch a yellow dog with an iron pinch. The dog was petrified. The shop owners assistant started to beat the dog’s head with a stick. The dog screamed of pain and lost all control and urinated and defecated at the same time. More and more people came close to watch the scene. Even the three-year old son of the owner watched with a lot of interest. As the dog kept fighting in his agony, the assistant recanted coldly and hit the dog once more strongly with his stick. The dog finally collapsed. The owner took a knife and started immediately opening the throat of the dog. The assistant pulled out all the organs of the dog and removed the skin from the dog. After having watched the bloody scene, the taxi driver asked the owner: was the dog scared? Without having to think twice, the owner of the shop responded Obviously. It is the same as a person condemned to death. A dog is also scared when he is taken to the place where he will be executed. The dog knows also that he will be killed. And he emphasized: ”AA dog who is scared produces adrenaline, the meat of the dog slaughtered that way is very good for men's virility?

“Why could people in the West eat horses and Chinese should not eat dogs? That is always the reply of the government in Beijing, responding to international pressure. As one can see that thanks to dog-meat breeding people in the North of Jiangsu can become rich and get out of extreme poverty, even people who object to dog eating can be contradicted.

For more on Peixian, click here

For more information please consult the internet site

Above articles thanks to SOS St Bernards

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Last revised: 04 February, 2006


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