Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Dog-eating Chinese given warning for animal cruelty

Dog-eating Chinese given warning for animal cruelty

By Alex Bell
02 August 2010

Animal welfare activists have expressed their outrage after a Chinese
national, accused of cruelly killing at least three dogs, was let off with
nothing more than an official police warning.

The Chinese man was taken into police custody last weekend after
investigations by the Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ) group
found he had killed the dogs for meat. Another Chinese man was questioned in
connection with the incident. But no official charges were laid, despite
evidence of the cruelty the animals had suffered.

Local residents in West Nicholson outside Gwanda town in Matabeleland South
had raised the alarm weeks ago, after three Chinese engineers, hired to
install transmitters in the area, were said to be buying dogs for $10 each,
then killing and eating them. Dog meat is considered a delicacy by some
Chinese nationals, who brutally kill the animals so that they die slowly, to
flavour the meat with adrenalin and other hormones.

VAWZ inspector Meryl Harrison told SW Radio Africa on Monday that a team
travelled to the town to investigate the claims, and found evidence of dog
killings at the Chinese nationals’ camp.

“On investigation inspectors found the wire in a tree, a pool of dried blood
underneath the tree, several pieces of dried dog meat hanging up and, some
distance away, a dog’s paw and tail,” she said, explaining how the dogs are
usually tied by their necks to trees and slowly beaten until they die.

Harrison said a fourth dog was to be killed the following day, but was
rescued. A report was made to the police, leading to the arrest of two
Chinese men, although a third man had relocated to Mutare. Only one man
admitted to killing the animals, and the VAWZ team tried to have animal
cruelty charges laid against him for the suffering the animals were put

VAWZ supplied the police with a copy of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Act. Harrison said that the man should have been charged under sections
3(i)(d) that criminalises any action that “causes any unnecessary suffering
and 3 (i)(g) which deals with a person who “cruelly causes or permits any
animal to be tied up or confined”.

Harrison expressed anger that the Chinese national was released on a
warning, despite promises by the police that the matter was ‘serious’. She
explained that the police were struggling to find grounds to prosecute the
Chinese man, saying there is no legislation on the slaughter of dogs.

“Fine this is true, but we wanted this man charged on the grounds of the
suffering the dogs underwent,” Harrison said. “We are horrified he was let
off with a warning, because we were hoping this would send a strong message
to stop this happening.”


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