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August 27, 2014

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17 admit trading in toxic dog meat

SEVENTEEN men pled guilty to trading in dozens of tons of toxic dog meat in east China’s Zhejiang Province when they appeared in court yesterday.

The accused, whose ages ranged from 31 to 74, formed a chain that encompassed stealing live dogs, buying dead ones and selling them on as meat, Fenghua People’s Court heard.

The indictment said seven men in the chain, whose members came from Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Jiangsu provinces, were responsible for stealing and killing the dogs while the remainder were buyers who resold them as meat, Xinhua news agency reported.

Between 2012 and August 2013, the seven killed 95 dogs in Zhejiang’s Ningbo City by poisoning them with cyanide or shooting them with anesthetic needles bought online, the court heard.

The accused told the court they knew cyanide and anesthetic needles were poisonous and admitted that they wouldn’t eat the dead dog meat themselves.

One of them said the dogs that were shot with anesthetic died after running for about 100 meters.

The seven told the court they sold the dead dogs to dog meat dealers.

Two of the dealers, surnamed Chen and Wang, purchased 22 tons of toxic dog meat between April 2012 and August 2013. The court heard they earned about 160,000 yuan after buying the dogs for 8 yuan (US$1.30) a kilogram and reselling the meat for 12 yuan a kilo.

Some of the meat had yet to be sold when the suspects were caught, and succinylcholine – an anesthetic – was found when some of the frozen meat was tested.

The pair said they didn’t ask where the dog meat had come from but admitted that they wouldn’t eat it.

A report on news website didn’t specify how much dog meat was traded in total, but it said the largest amount purchased by one of the accused was 38 tons.

Most of the toxic dog meat ended up in restaurants, said Wu Jingbo, a police officer in Ningbo. Wu said authorities had issued warnings to wet markets and supervision of the dog meat trade would be strengthened.

A verdict will be announced later, the court said.


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