Poison allegedly capable of killing dogs for food or revenge is being sold online.
According to a salesman surnamed Zhang, who placed an advert on Ganji.com - a national classified information website - his drugs cost 10 yuan a pill and only one is needed to kill a dog.
Zhang claimed the poison would only damage the head of a canine, leaving the body in perfect condition to be sold as food to restaurants. He wouldn't reveal what type of poison was involved.
"There's no need to worry, I ate this type of meat all through the winter," Zhang told an undercover METRO reporter.
Zhang's suggestion comes in sharp contrast to a draft law against animal abuse, under discussion since January, which suggests anyone caught eating dog or cat meat should be jailed for up to 15 days and fined 5,000 yuan. Units and organizations will see stricter penalties of between 100,000 and 500,000 yuan.
Chen Wu, deputy director of the Animal Science and Technology College in Beijing University of Agriculture, warned that any poison containing cyanide would be harmful to the human body. "Once the poison enters the bloodstream, it will travel throughout the dog's entire body. It is nonsense to say only the head would be affected," he said.
Chen warned that cyanide is a very dangerous poison that could kill anyone who eats tainted meat. "Selling poison without a license is illegal, but selling poisoned meat is even worse," he said.
Zhang's online advert also included instructions about putting the pill inside a dog's favorite food, to quickly cancel out noisy neighborhood barking.
On April 16, Fengtai district court put a 25-year-old man on trial for selling dog poison. Lu Lei sold more than 100 pills within three months, making a total profit of 1,000 yuan, according to local television channel BTV. He was reported to police after testing a new batch of poison on a local dog, which police later confirmed contained cyanide.
According to law, anyone selling poison illegally can be sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of between three and 10 years, with longer jail times for serious cases as well as life imprisonment and death.