As winter approaches in China, more restaurants, especially those in Guangdong and neighbouring Guangxi province, are in need of dog meat to make dog stew — a winter delicacy that's supposed to be extremely nutritious and helpful at keeping the body warm.
Unfortunately, to that end, this means that more dogs will be grabbed from the streets and sold to restaurants.
A surveillance camera in Guali town, Hangzhou, has captured a man who is a member of a dog-snatching gang doing exactly that.
The incident took place on Nov. 14. In the captured footage, he was seen swiftly shooting a dog with a dart and then collecting its body once it collapsed.
Modus operandi of the dog snatcher
From the video, we can see the dog snatcher who was riding a scooter shot a dart at the dog, which was chained to a gate.
After getting shot, the dog was seen writhing on the ground.
The dog snatcher who had initially left the scene returned to collect the dog's limp body after it was immobilized.
Suspects arrested by police
The police from Guali Police Station arrested 4 suspects who were found selling dog corpses to underground dog meat traders in a dirty warehouse.
19 dead dogs were found there as well. They were all confiscated.
The gang apparently caught both pet dogs and stray dogs in the area, and sold them for RMB 50 to 60 (~S$10-12) each to a factory that processes dog meat, which then in turn sells the meat to restaurants.
Investigations are still underway to find out what had been applied on the darts and whether they were poisonous.
Why is dog meat a delicacy in China
According to Keith Guo, an animal lover working for PETA and a native of Guangdong, as dog meat smells and tastes gamier as compared to other types of meat, chefs usually use a bunch of spices such as chilli peppers and ginger to mask the odour.
Hence, dog stew is heavy and could warm up the diner's body within a short time.
From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, food that could warm up the body is also considered beneficial, which explains why in China, dog meat is thought to be especially nutritious to the human body.
Guo added that locals like to eat warm dog stew when the weather gets humid in southern China during winter, as according to traditional Chinese medicine, humidity could weaken one's health, and dog meat is thought to boost the immunity system.
You can watch the dog snatching act here:
[video width="1280" height="720" mp4="https://static.mothership.sg/1/2017/11/dogthief.mp4"][/video]
Top image via Pear Video.