Graphic dog meat Weibo taken down

By Yan Shuang Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-21 0:58:01

Online clashes broke out between dog lovers and dog meat eaters over the weekend as a Weibo account continued to post graphic pictures of dogs being slaughtered and dog meat cuisine, triggering massive criticism of both violence against dogs and overzealous animal rights activists.

A Weibo account, named Aiteguan, who claimed to run a dog meat restaurant in Beijing, has been blocked since Saturday morning after Web users complained it posted gratuitously brutal pictures and promoted dog meat eating. Aiteguan then used other Weibo IDs and recruited other dog meat eaters to attack animal rights activists online.

Since late December, each of Aiteguan's postings have been widely reposted with animal rights activists denouncing his cruelty, while supporters say eating dog meat is legal and a personal choice. Some Web users do not believe Aiteguan's restaurant actually exists and the writer is only trying to provoke dog lovers.

"Pictures depicting such cruelty should be banned from cyberspace, and the killing of dogs for their meat is immoral," said Meng Fanda, a TV host who complained to Weibo management last week about Aiteguan's account.

Aiteguan's restaurant has butchered more than 2,000 dogs this winter, a Weibo account said. Other postings said the dogs are purchased from dog farms and their meat is nutritious and popular.

Several animal protection organizations and their supporters have been able to persuade Weibo platforms to ban accounts that publish descriptions of killing and cooking dogs.

Posting information involving pornography, gambling, violence, terrorism, killings or crimes are banned on Weibo in China.

Public opinion in China still remains divided over human consumption of dog meat. Wang Zhian, a reporter and media commentator, told the Global Times eating dog meat has a long tradition in some parts of China.

"Trying to save dogs by stealing them from restaurants is a violation of the law and an infringement of peoples' property. Dog lovers, who can be blinded by their compassion for animals, should learn to respect other people's lifestyle," said Wang.

In Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, eating dog meat has long been a local tradition and each year the city hosts a dog meat festival. A group of animal protection organizations staged a protest in Yulin last year during the dog meat festival but only managed to rescue a few animals.

The owner of a dog restaurant in Yulin, surnamed Bai, told the Global Times he has received a lot of criticism but insists he will not give up his business.

Despite their differences of opinion both Wang the journalist who supports the tradition of eating dog meat, and TV host Meng who calls it immoral agree that a law protecting small animals from abuse is much needed in China.

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