shocking scenes from northern China drew outrage from animal rights
activists in the country, who have called for a change in the law to
protect the canines.
the local villagers who organised the event have defended the dogfights
as necessary ‘entertainment’ in an isolated part of the country.
anyone who brought a dog along and the winner of each bout was rewarded
with a pack of cigarettes and a china mug
to watch the dogfights in northern China, which are held to mark the
finale of the Spring Festival celebrations in the region
dogfights, which lasted over several days, were organised by six
villagers in Sanjiao village in Jishan county in northern China’s Shanxi
province to mark the finale of the Spring Festival celebrations.
competition was open to anyone who brought a dog along, and the winner
of each bout was rewarded with a pack of cigarettes and a china mug.
organisers, Shi Pan, 45, protested that because the village was in a
poor rural area, the locals had to resort to creating their own
said: ‘People in the city criticise our dogfights but they have all
sorts of money to pay for entertainments which we don’t have access
to. We have to organise things to entertain ourselves.’
banned in some countries, dogfights are a common attraction in northern
China which hosts more than 100 festivals each year attracting visitors
from neighboring provinces and tourists alike.
added that some of the people who who turned up had allegedly grabbed
stray dogs off the street, and claimed they were their pets.
the vicious scenes sparking outrage, organisers have insisted that the
dogfights are part of the traditional ‘entertainment’ in the area
has no animal cruelty laws, and a person who damages a dog or another
animal can only be prosecuted for damaging property if the animal
belongs to somebody.
is illegal, but only if it involves bets. Simply allowing the animals
to fight purely for entertainment comes into a grey area where it is
difficult to prosecute anyone involved.
Lu, an animal rights activist in the country said, said: ‘Events like
these are exactly why we need a functioning animal cruelty law in China,
because people do that they want and get away with it unless they know
the law can stop them.’
a defiant Shi Pan said: ‘It was a great success, we plan to do the same
thing again next year. And we don’t care what the people in the city