A dramatic scene ensued at a highway toll station in Xi’an yesterday morning when a group of animal protection activists stopped a truck carrying over 200 dogs, prompting the driver’s wife to stab herself in the thigh in protest.
The truck was blocked by more than 60 volunteers from the Xi’an Small Animal Protection Association, who called in officials from the Yanta District Quarantine Station for Animals, according to CCTV News.
When the truck driver failed to produce a government-issued sanitation certificate to transport the dogs, the officials demanded to have the animals temporarily detained.
As the roadside confrontation escalated, the driver’s wife became emotional, took out a kitchen knife and stabbed herself in the leg.
Police arrived at the scene along with an ambulance and the woman was taken to the hospital with her husband.
The dogs were transferred to a shelter belonging to the association after animal quarantine officials confirmed that they had been illegally transported.
Officials have tightened the regulation of shipments of dogs being sold to restaurants and festivals such as the mass summer gathering in Yulin following expert warnings that the long-distance transport of strays can spread diseases.
“We are just delivering the goods, we’ve been blocked here since 2:00 a.m. and they kept calling us dog rustlers, it’s unbearable,” the driver said.
In other animal activist news, a volunteer group in Shenyang, Liaoning has accused a middle-aged woman of cheating residents out of money meant for a sick dog she’d been “parading around the streets”.
The stray had reportedly been disfigured by acid months ago and adopted by the woman.
“The dog’s eyelids were so severely mutilated that it can’t even close its eyes. It has been five months since this fraud adopted the dog, and she has done nothing to treat it,” one activist said in a Global Times report.
“We wanted to take the dog away, but [its adopter] refused and threatened us by biting her own wrist,” another volunteer said.
No animal-welfare laws currently exist in China, but this hasn’t stopped homegrown activists across the country from taking action.
Dozens of pet lovers showed up at the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival in Guangxi this past summer to purchase dogs doomed to be slaughtered and eaten. Last year, activists in Wuhan blocked off a truck carrying over 2,800 cats headed to Guangxi to be sold for meat.
[Images via CCTV // Sina]