NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

This first item was sent by Elly Maynard of Sirius GAO to The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Wellington, NZ.

"Dear Sir,

"I would like to respectfully request a meeting with yourself to discuss the situation of the Western Breed dogs being bred for the food chain in China.

"My husband and I will be in Wellington in May and I envisage the meeting taking place then at your convenience.

"As there has been speculation in the media both here in New Zealand and overseas as to the situation with these animals in China, I would like to hear the view of New Zealand's most senior Chinese representative before reaching any final conclusions.

"I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,


The following reply was received on 11/03/02.

"Dear Mrs Maynard

"Your letter to Ambassador Chen regarding Western Breed dogs has come to my attention.

"I have never heard such a thing as Western Breed dogs being bred for food in China.

"Hunting and killing animals under protection for eating purposes is against the law in China and vigorous steps have been taken to enforce animal protection laws. As a result, people in China are increasingly sensitive about the need to protect animals.

"Although dogs are not endangered animals under protection, they are such intelligent animals that they have become one of the most favourite pet animals in China. In both cities and rural areas, dogs are raised as loyal family friends and many dog clinics have been opened to ensure their health. It is common for a visitor to see people walking dogs in streets in China, just as in a western country.

"I hope you will find the above information helpful.

With regards,


Qiu Xuejun
Press Officer
Embassy of the People's Republic of China."

Well that comes as a relief! Obviously the images and items (including advertisements for Chinese dog farms) on this web site are a figment of our collective imaginations! Thanks for clearing that up for us, Qiu Xuejun!

Perhaps Qiu Xuejun should tell these Chinese that they don't eat dogs. Although these photos were printed in The Post (New Zealand) in 1991, there is NO evidence to indicate that the Chinese have improved their "culinary" habits. Would you want to let YOUR dog off its lead in this country? Qiu Xuejun says you can do so in safety. Call us cynics but..................
Click to enlarge.

The contempt for Western opinion displayed in Qiu Xuejun's email is typical of the attitude of the Chinese government. Our response (sent 12/03/02) is reproduced below.

"Dear Qiu Xuejun

"Thank you for your letter dated 5th March and received 11th March 2002 with regard to Western Breed dogs being bred for human consumption in China.

"I take strong issue with your statement that Western Breed Dogs are not being bred for food in China and I have enclosed documents which prove my case beyond doubt.

"I accept your statement that dogs are one of the most favourite pets in China, however my evidence clearly shows that Western-bred dogs or their off-spring are being slaughtered and consumed in your country. This is a totally unacceptable situation.

"Also of concern is the fact that New Zealand breeders are being asked to procure such dogs - by Westerners who have business ventures in China. Signed affidavits have been obtained from these breeders.

"I would be happy to meet with you and discuss my case further when I am in Wellington in May of this year.

"I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,


Further to this letter, Elly met with the Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand on the 18th May, 2002. Her report follows.

21st May 2002

On Saturday the 18th May, my husband and I attended the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Wellington to discuss the Saint Bernard dogs being imported into China for breeding and slaughtering for human consumption.

After writing to the Embassy for 2 years and receiving no reply, it was a coup to finally be given an opportunity to speak face to face on this important issue.

We were met by Qiu Xuejun, First Secretary. I presented him with a formal letter to the Chinese Government supported by undisputed evidence. While Qiu Xuejun relayed the changing views of the Chinese Government and how they were in to protecting endangered species, my husband and I firmly pointed out that this had nothing to do with the importation of the Saint Bernards.

We were able to put our case across well and covered every aspect of it. I also stated that prior to the Saint Bernards, the Tibetan Mastiffs and the Great Danes being imported into China for food, no animal welfarist had ever targeted China with regard to their dogs, however, now that these Western/European breeds were being imported as food, it was our right to protect these animals who have never been bred as food.

The main thing I stressed during the meeting was that the importation was purely a business venture; a money making one, and had nothing to do with starving people or people who had to have dog meat to survive. I also stressed that these dogs are bred solely as domestic companion animals - they are not food. (It is interesting to note the First Secretary admits the importation of the dogs is purely a money making venture!)

After 50 minutes of talking, Qiu Xuejun advised he would help us and send a report through to the Chinese Government with our concerns. Now we wait, but I will not wait too long.

I am in contact with The International Court of Justice for Animal Rights in Geneva who are reviewing the information I have sent with regard to the importation of the dogs. Global demonstrations are being planned which will lead up to the Olympic Games in 2008. The pressure will be kept on until a satisfactory outcome is reached.

The following was received on 20/06/02 by Paula Thompson, Sirius' Vice-Chairperson and Legal Representative from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

"Dear Ms Thompson

"I have pleasure to refer to your letter received in the Office of the Director-General on 14th June 2002 regarding the export of dogs to some Asian countries as slaughter animals from countries where they normally enjoy the protection of society as well as the breeding of these dogs in China, Your letter has been referred to me for reply.

"I would like to express my sympathy with the concerns expressed by the various animal protection associations in the world, some of whose members have appended signatures to the petition against exportation of dogs for use as food presented to the office of the Director-General in November 2001.

"The international food trade is principally regulated by the systems of supply and demand.. The Codex standards are not mandatory, but constitute references that are used to facilitate international trade in food products.

"There are no rules at an international level that prohibit the commercialisation of dogs as slaughter animals. Codex Alimentarius defines meat as the edible part of any slaughter animal slaughtered in an abattoir and includes edible offal.

"It is not within FAO's competence to take a position condemning this practice which would lead to disputes over the commercialisation of all products which are exported by countries there, for cultural, social or religious factors, the products are not consumed. While we appreciate your concerns, it remains the full, responsibility of individual sovereign countries to align their commercial practices with their own food customs.

Yours sincerely,
Kraisid Tontisirin
Food and Nutrition Division."

This is a total cop out as the FAO has NOT advised member countries through their various committees that the petition was presented! To also state that the regulations define slaughter animals slaughtered in an abattoir is absolute rubbish - DOGS ARE NOT SLAUGHTER ANIMALS and they are not slaughtered in abattoirs but backyards! It is time for the rules to be changed and dogs classified as NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION!

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