Dogs destined to be slaughtered and served up in China's restaurants were saved when the truck transporting them was intercepted by animal rights activists

by Lee Moran (Mail Online)

Dogs destined to be slaughtered and served up in China’s restaurants were saved when the truck transporting them was intercepted by animal rights activists.

The vehicle, carrying 505 canines packed into just 156 tiny cages, was stopped on Yunnan Province’s highway from Fumin to Kunming after other drivers spotted its sickening cargo.

A number posted pictures and comments about the load on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Weibo, prompting the police to stop the lorry at the next toll gate.

A total of 505 desperate-looking dogs were packed into just 156 tiny cages

It was then directed to a nearby police station where animal lovers, alerted to the news over the internet, began to arrive.

Sadly, due to the terrible conditions a number had already died by the time they were discovered.

One activist said: ‘They were cramped together. A cage could be stuffed with seven to eight. Our hearts were broken in seeing that.’

Volunteers removed the cages from the lorry and spent the night feeding, watering and treating the animals.

Horrifyingly, officers from the local Animal Inspection Department investigating the matter discovered that the transportation of the dogs was legal.

The person who owned them did indeed have a licence and police were unable to act despite suspecting the dogs were headed for dog meat restaurants.

Another activist added: ‘We can’t stop them from eating dogs, as we don’t have an animal welfare law. We just hope the government could stop dog mongers from doing dog business.’

However, a private dog rescue centre then stepped forward and brought all of the dogs off their owner for 60,000 Yuan (£5,900).

The animals will now be cared for until new owners can be found for them.