Tibetan clam dog ‘disgraced’


ChinaAt the golden age, there was a clam dog bought nearly 2 million USD, but now thousands of dogs are abandoned and become a danger to humans and pets.

In 2014, Yin Hang established the Gangri Neichog Research and Conservation Center to take care of abandoned dogs and other animals. She decided to take action after watching a video of a snow leopard being scrambled for food by a pack of dogs. “The Tibetan clams surrounded the leopard, trying to draw the sheep the snow leopard had just hunted. The leopard gave up its prey. Things like this happen a lot. Abandoned clam dogs adversely affect the chain. Ecological food and endangered animals, “she said.

Tibetan clams are descendants of dogs raised by nomadic tribes in Central Asia and Tibet for sheep and hunting; they are big, loyal and ferocious. Clam dogs were worshiped during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), when trained for military use. In 2014, the sheet Qianjiang Evening News reported that a real estate investor paid 12 million yuan (nearly $ 1.9 million) to own a fire-colored clam at a pet fair in eastern Zhejiang province.

There were clams once worshiped as the king of the steppe, the average price of a few hundred million dong each. In Vietnam they are fed beef, in a cold room. Image: SCMP.

A breeding fever of Tibetan clams broke out in the 1990s and peaked in the mid-2010. This is considered a way to get rich quickly. But in fact, very few people actually get rich from them. Excess dog supply. Many people cannot afford to feed. Many children were left behind when the owner moved from the countryside to the city …

According to television station CGTN, in 2015, 2,000 out of 3,000 clam breeding centers in Tibet had to close due to the plunge of prices – from $ 2 million to less than $ 1,500.

Liu Mingyu, a researcher at Peking University, estimates that there are about 160,000 wild dogs, of which 97% are from the lineage of Tibetan clams in the Sanyuan area of ​​Qinghai. Liu said that his research using a neck tracker showed that clams were present in 17% of snow leopards territory. “Tibetan clams have become the fastest and most reproductive of all highland carnivores. Since they live in herds, they are a threat to wildlife,” Liu said.

The Tibetan villagers said they often see dogs chasing bears, eating poultry, sheep and attacking people. In 2016, an 8-year-old girl in Thanh Hai was bitten to death by a clam. The Tibetan Autonomous Region government reports about 180 people a month injured by wild clam dogs. Besides rabies, the clams also infect people with hydatid disease, an infection caused by helminth parasites. These millions of dollars worth of dogs have now become worthless misfits.

Yin’s center recruited 30 veterinarians from all over China to train veterinarians in Tibet in the process of handling stray dogs. “The main task of the local doctor is to vaccinate clams to prevent diseases,” she said. Yin’s center also launched an adoption program in 2017, when it brought 500 abandoned dogs to 400 families, in two villages in Tibet.

Sangzhou, a volunteer in Yin’s organization, said that he was once a clam dog trader. Once he visited a man raising 60 dogs. “The people there brought out a dog, hit it on the head with a hammer until they lost consciousness. Then they hung it on a metal hook and skinned it from the neck down. The dog was still writhing. , he still tried to get up. I asked why they didn’t kill but made him miserable. They said the best dog meat was killed this way, “Sangzhou said.

That day he was heartbroken and cried for a long time. Since then, he vowed never to sell dogs again and will try to help these helpless animals. As a volunteer, Sangzhou collects food from the butcher to feed them, fights against those who try to capture them, heals their injured children, and chants chants when a child dies …

Bowie Leung, rescue clam dogs in Hong Kong.  Photo: SCMP.

Bowie Leung, rescue clam dogs in Hong Kong. Image: SCMP.

Bowie Leung, spokesperson for a clam dog club in Hong Kong, said he saved many abandoned dogs in the city. Hong Kong lacks space. Owners are impatient, with money and time to take care of them. They are more expensive than small dogs. For example, the treatment of gastritis of small dogs is about 800 Hong Kong dollars (2.3 million dong), the clam dog has to spend 2,400 Hong Kong dollars (7.1 million dong).

“If they did not take them for a walk, the dogs became even wilder. Their owner could not handle it, so they approached us. It was heartbreaking that many dogs died,” she said.

Leung hopes everyone should think carefully before buying clam dogs as pets. They are very cute as a child, but can reach 91 kg in adulthood. Not only food, living space, owners have to see if they have enough power to lead it. “Clam dogs are only loyal to one owner, so they are very fierce towards outsiders. Trained dogs do not change their nature. Keeping clam dogs as pets requires sacrifice,” she said.

Bao Nhien (According to the SCMP)

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