The dark side of China’s pet boom


The dark side of China’s pet boom

13 November 2019
Every Friday evening, a 2km stretch of road in Caidang, Jiangsu province throngs with merchants haggling over puppies and kittens.
This market has been going for more than 30 years and, like many others across China, it’s profiting from a booming market in pet ownership.

To meet the demand, China’s pet industry relies on a supply chain of breeders and wholesalers. But there is lax oversight of the market, despite evidence of forged immunisation certificates, inadequate animal welfare and misled pet owners.

Poor animal welfare

Wholesale traders bring cats and dogs to the unofficial market in Caidang from farms all over the country where they can sell 800 or more animals in one evening for 100-200 yuan (US$15-30) each.

According to a survey by animal protection group Pawfect Plan, the animals traded in such markets are sold both to city pet shops and directly to new owners.