Danwei highlights an investigation by the Beijing Morning Post into the seedy underworld of puppy trading in the Chinese capital.
Ms Wang decided to get a puppy last month, she chose what she described as a “very energetic” dog from a local pet market. However, two days after bringing the puppy home he had begun vomiting and coughing, two days after that her puppy was dead. A vet found that the dog was infected with canine distemper virus and canine parovirus, giving it little chance of survival.
When she bought the dog, Ms Wang says she was dissuaded by the seller from taking it to a vet, which he said would be a huge waste of money and would put her new dog at risk of infection. The Beijing Morning Post found out that Ms Wang wasn’t the only new dog owner to be told this story, nor was she the only one to have her pet die after only a few days.
Dogs sold at the markets come from a small number of breeding facilities around Beijing. The Post investigation into these facilities found the dogs were kept in crowded and unhygienic conditions, veritable breeding grounds for disease. Cages in which the dogs are kept are not disinfected due to cost and puppies seen to be showing symptoms of illness are hoisted onto unknowing customers as quickly as possible.
In order to pass off fatally ill dogs as happy little puppies, the sellers inject the animals with monoclonal antibodies which cause them to appear healthy and energetic.
Unfortunately, despite the Post‘s excellent investigatory work, there seems to be little chance of improvement any time soon. The Beijing Animal Hygiene Control Office already knew about this issue but said there are no plans to introduce penalties or regulations to prevent it.