Unlicensed vet ordered to stop cutting dogs' vocal cords

A man in Chengdu, Sichuan Province was ordered to stop conducting operations on dogs' vocal cords after photos of the procedure were exposed online.

A man in Chengdu, Sichuan Province was ordered to stop conducting operations on dogs' vocal cords after photos of the procedure were exposed online.

The man, only identified by his surname Zeng, had a stall at a flower and bird market in Qingbaijiang District, Chengdu Economic Daily reported.

He said he's an unlicensed amateur vet and owned a pet shop, and that he learned the skill of cutting dogs' vocal cords many years ago. He claimed that his work helped dog owners and their neighbours who were annoyed by loud barking.

The operations were conducted on a shabby table in the open market. At first, dogs were injected with anesthetic and lost consciousness within 30 seconds. Then an assistant would force the sleeping dogs' mouths open with two pieces of string while Zeng cut their vocal cords with forceps and a flashlight.

The parts that were cut out would be thrown on the ground, along with cotton used during the procedure. The man's bloody forceps would be used without being cleaned or disinfected.

The charge for each dog was 50 to 100 yuan and each operation was over within about five minutes. Most of his customers were pet owners and dog mongers.

One female owner of a teddy dog said that she paid the man because her family and neighbours couldn't endure its constant yapping anymore. When asked whether she felt the operation was cruel, the woman replied, "Cutting the vocal cord is better than abandoning it, right?"

However, Ye Wenjie, an assistant vet in Chengdu, expressed his concerns about the sanitation problems involved with the procedure. "Without a clean environment, the procedure not only risks the dogs’ lives but also residents' health."

Law enforcement officers from the local Agriculture and Forestry Bureau arrived on the scene on September 17, confiscating Zeng's tools and ordering him to cease operation after he admitted that he did not hold the required licence to perform medical procedures on animals.

Further investigation is still underway.

The photos sparked outrage among Chinese netizens, with one saying, "This is too brutal — you can't just pull out the dog's teeth if it likes to bite.”

Ye suggested that owners could take their dogs to training centers or invite teachers to train their dogs at home, as excessive barking could be improved with training.

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