Blick Online, 24 February 2002

Swiss eat dogmeat

Sad but true: Here hangs a delicacy

By Monica Fahmy

Salez SG – Dogmeat on the plate – it’s three months before the football world championship, and host South Korea is getting under pressure once again. But also to us this emotional subject is high-lighted again. What sickens many, for others is a delicacy. Sunday-Blick (Swiss Newspaper) visited a dogmeat lover.
Slaughtered: A lot of animals are slaughtered by dogmeat lovers themselves

Karl Meier has already eaten Appenzeller, Saint Bernard, German Shepherd and Dalmatian . The meat on the table, that looks like “Mostbröckli" (a Swiss speciality), derives from a Rottweiler, who was slaughtered a few weeks ago. What kind of dog finally ends up on his plate, doesn’t makes any difference to him, says Meier. But “lap dogs are of no use, there is too little meat on them.“ Minced meat and ragout, the favorites of many dogmeat lovers, are not prepared at Meier's: “My wife wouldn’t eat it.“ Much more in demand than meat is dog lard, as a “remedy for colds and asthma“. Karl Meier goes on to state, “A colleague recently sold 30 kilos to a pharmacy“. He could understand that a dog owner feels sick thinking of dog meat, claims Meier. On the other hand, he can’t understand that the same persons are unaffected by eating veal, beef or chicken. “Instead of having them euthanised, the villagers are bringing their dogs to me“ he says. His colleague, a butcher, kills the animals with a bolt-shot. “That works very quickly and is much more humane than kosher butchering, where an animal’s suffering lasting minutes“.

Karl Meier is outraged, that in Asia dogs are beaten to death, because it is believed that adrenaline makes their meat tastier. “Those Chinese and Koreans I could spank with a stick myself“, he proclaimed excitedly.

In Switzerland dogmeat ends up not only on Meier's plate. The journalist Markus Rohner, who reported on this subject this week, said “who wants such meat, will get it“.

Unlike Germany, consumption of dog and cat meat is permitted in Switzerland. Only trading is forbidden.

Trading happens all the same. A journalist of the “Wiler Nachrichten“ (Swiss newspaper) says. A dog costs between one and two hundred Swissfrancs, “depending on the volume of the meat“. And furthermore:“A breeder for instance sells about 40 Appenzeller crossbreeds to a group of people from Sigmaringen in Southern Germany.“ That group meets regularly to exchange recipes.

“ Not only in the Rhine Valley and Appenzell, all over Switzerland dogs and cats are eaten“, animal welfare activist Edith Zellweger says. “Being a vegetarian, I don’t eat veal or beef either, but the dog is like a member of the family, or an assistant, like a guide dog for the blind or a savior for those buried by avalanches. When we eat our best friends, where are we to fix the limit?“

Over 10 years ago, Edith Zellweger created a scandal in Germany with a statement on “Stern TV“(RTL) entitled "Switzerland, a nation of dog-eaters“. Viewers were filled with indignation.

Little has changed. This welfare activist has saved many dogs and cats from being cooked. For a lot of animals she couldn't do any more. Edith Zellweger showed us an advertisement from a newspaper from the East of Switzerland: “To give away: beautiful young kittens as well as some cats for butchering“. The fact that animal protection organisations don’t intervene, because allegedly these are only individual cases, makes her sad. “When I see, that animal welfare activists from the Rhine Valley wear fur coats, I am not suprised“, she says.“To collect money, they recently sold figures made out of real rabbit fur.“

“A few of these dogs and cats die quickly“, Edith Zellweger says,“Much more often they are brutaly beaten to death.“ Above all young cats. “They taste like rabbits“, a farmer says. “When I had some visitors, they didn’t notice any difference“ But some of them would feel ill if they knew? That made the farmer laugh.