Huang Ziyang, an activist from Vshine, said the group receives about five tip-offs per year of similar slaughterhouses. They tend to be located in Guangdong, Guangxi and northern China.

“The dogs are often stray dogs or stolen from pet owners,” said Huang.

In the Shandong facilities, Huang said there was clear evidence that the dogs were brutally killed, “But it is still unclear what they have been killed for and where their fur pelts or other parts have gone,” he said.

Dr Peter Li, the China expert for HSI, said it is unusual in China to see dogs skinned for their fur. In areas where people still eat dog meat, the skin is usually part of the meal.

“But in north and northeast China, dog fur gloves and other products are sold at local markets. Millions of dogs every year are killed for meat across China, but the authorities are closing in on the thieves and butchers, and often it is local neighbours who tip them off because nobody wants to live near such a dreadful place,” he said.

Eating dog meat is legal in most of China, except for the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai in south China, but in 2020 the Ministry of Agriculture excluded dogs from its first official list of livestock, meaning it cannot be produced commercially like other foods.

Typically, people who operate dog meat facilities are forced to quit the trade and give up the animals.

The rescued animals are being cared for by a non-profit organisation in China. Photo: Vshine

The rescued animals are being cared for by a non-profit organisation in China. Photo: Vshine

While the famous dog meat festival in Yulin in the southern autonomous region Guangxi brings international attention on dog meat eating, most people in China do not eat dogs.

Dogs are considered companion animals in most of China, and dog meat is eaten infrequently by a small number of people.

According to a 2016 survey conducted by Chinese polling company Horizon, over half of Chinese citizens would like to see the dog meat trade completely banned, and 70 per cent of respondents said they have never eaten dog meat.

Furthermore, the pet industry in China is booming. According to China Business Review, the industry is expected to generate 472.3 billion yuan (US$74.3 billion) in revenue by 2023, which would represent an 800 per cent growth from 2013.

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By badmin

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