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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Saved from the pot: Hundreds of dogs rescued by animal activists in China as they are about to be killed for food


Rescued: The dogs were released from the truck as they were taken to the slaughterhouse in Beijing. They are now being nursed back to health

Hundreds of dogs set for the slaughterhouse have been saved from the dinner plate by animal welfare activists in China.

The dogs were being transported behind cages on a truck when they were spotted - and an online call for help rescuing them was put out.

In a rare display of social action, the dogs were saved as they were taken from the Henan province to the Jilin province.

Locked in: The animals are put in a tight, confined cage as they are led away to be killed. They were saved by animal lovers after a call for help with the rescue was put out by an animal lover on a website similar to Twitter

The truck carrying the animals was penned in as it passed a toll booth near Beijing. After 200 people responded to the call for help the vehicle was blockaded for 15 hours.

Finally they secured the release of 580 hounds for $17,000 (£10,370).

Many of the animals were dehydrated, injured and suffering from a potentially deadly virus - and at least 68 have had to be hospitalized.

The dogs were left lying down in cramped metal crates in the back of the truck, barking and whining after the ordeal.

'They were squeezing and pressing on each other and some were biting and fighting, and I saw some were injured or sick,' said Li Wei, manager of the Capital Animal Welfare Association who were involved in the rescue.

'It's a dog's life': A volunteer looks after one of the rescued hounds, being treated for parvovirus at an animal hospital in Beijing, China yesterday after the rescue

Penned in: Cars are used to block the truck transporting dogs from Henan province to Jilin province as its passes a toll booth near Beijing. the animals were later rescued

Li said at least one dog had died in the truck.

Pet ownership in China was once rare because the Communist Party condemned it as bourgeois and most people couldn't afford to own cats or dogs.

Li said many in the group - including the man who put out the call on Sina Weibo, a popular Twitter-like microblogging site - suspected the dogs were stolen or otherwise illegally obtained.

The truck's driver told the Global Times newspaper: 'I transported dogs as (I would) pigs, cows and sheep. The country does not ban the consumption of dog meat.'

Volunteer Chen Yang, 30, who has helped nurse the dogs back to health at the Dongxing Animal Hospital in Beijing said: 'When I saw the poor dogs on Twitter, I cried and cried, but I thought there was no way they could stop the truck.

'So I was very surprised when they did it and I wanted to help.'

Volunteers walk among the 580 dogs at an animal centre after they were rescued for $17,000

A volunteer holds up a puppy that was born after its mother has been rescued from the truck after a 15 hour stand-off

source: dailymail


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