Recently, a story has become known in the media about how a veterinarian was arrested in a city in southwestern China, providing services to dog owners without a license. This kind of activity is certainly illegal, but what made this story so resonant is the procedures he performed on the animals.
Unfortunately, this arrest is far from the only one in the country; in fact, such unofficial services are rendered, if not all over China, then at a fairly large part of it. Unlicensed veterinarians remove the vocal cords for domestic dogs in non-sterile conditions. And they do not do it by force - the owners of the animals themselves bring their pets to this procedure, because, according to them, they get tired of barking.
The photographs taken during the work of one such veterinarian are truly terrifying. A man works without gloves and without any conditions to sterilize his instruments, right on the street. He is assisted by an assistant who keeps the dogs under anesthesia. According to Chinese news sites, it is about a man named Zeng who has been working since mid-September at a local poultry market in the city of Kingbaijang.
The vet's tools are pretty straightforward, and the procedure itself only takes a few minutes. The dog is euthanized with anesthesia, then placed on the table. The assistant opens the dog's mouth with two red threads, and the veterinarian uses special forceps to remove the dog's vocal cords, throwing the cut pieces right under his feet. Then the dogs are placed in a row on the nearest bench until the moment when the animals come to their senses after anesthesia.
When one of the reporters disguised as a client asked Zeng if he had a license to carry out this procedure, he replied that he did not have any documents, but that he learned everything from “others” many years ago. “Why is this license needed at all? Zeng asked. - Inspections do not care, nobody checks."
While the reporter stood nearby and documented what was happening for an hour, the veterinarian managed to do about ten operations. All of them were made on small domestic dogs with the same instruments, which were not sterilized or cleaned in any way between procedures. For his services, Zeng charged from 50 to 100 yuan ($ 7-15), depending on the size of the dog.
After the journalist documented what was happening, he contacted the local animal welfare organization. They visited the market, asked the veterinarian for documents, and, not receiving them, demanded that he stop his activities pending the completion of the investigation.
However, the point is not only that this person acted without a license, but also that he always had enough clients who wanted to make their pets mute. As the owners of the dogs explain this, they decided to do the same with their pets due to the fact that their neighbors complained about the constant barking. In his own defense, Zeng says he was simply providing the services they needed. Indeed, the tendency to remove the vocal cords of their dogs is observed all over the country. Rather than quarreling with people who live nearby, dog owners prefer to simply get rid of barking.
The Veterinary Association, of course, does not approve of such operations. According to their reports, these types of procedures greatly increase the risk of strangulation, infection, blood loss, and many other consequences. For animals, this is a strong stress that they experience not only during and immediately after the operation, but throughout their entire life. Many animals have breathing problems. "This is an absolutely unnecessary and extremely cruel procedure," says a spokesman for the animal rights organization PETA.
Neighboring Taiwan also has certain animal rights concerns: in this country, it has long been customary to eat dogs, because it was believed that it meat brings good luck.