IN THE NEWS: On FEB 14, 2018
HONG KONG: An animal rights group has released a video showing suffering in puppy mills in China.
The footage from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), which comes days before the start of the Chinese lunar Year of the Dog, shows dogs and puppies in small, filthy cages amid their own waste, many of them spinning in circles.
Peta said many show signs of hip dysplasia and other painful conditions caused by inbreeding. A white bulldog can be seen dragging its legs and struggling to walk as a result of the condition.
According to Peta Asia, the video and pictures were taken by an undercover researcher who visited 13 dog breeding farms in Shanghai and the nearby province of Shandong in eastern China, and the southern province of Guangdong.
Peta Asia has sent a letter to China's Ministry of Agriculture appealing for legislation to eliminate dog abuse on puppy farms. It has not received a response.
"Cruel puppy mills see dogs as nothing more than breeding machines," Peta vice-president Jason Baker said. "This Year of the Dog, Peta is calling on everyone to remember these imprisoned dogs' cries and pledge never to buy an animal from a pet store or a breeder."
Another Peta spokesman, Keith Gua, says puppies are sold online in China and transferred illegally to Hong Kong.
Puppy mills are a well-kept secret of the pet trade, says Peta, supplying animals to pet stores and enthusiasts for purebred dogs without any concern for the millions of animals who will later be abandoned and die in animal shelters. Puppy mills keep animals in cramped, crude, and filthy conditions without proper veterinary care or socialisation.
Peta urges people who would like a dog or cat to adopt them from shelters and to spay and neuter their pets.