Next time you pick up a package of instant ramen, you may want to look extra closely at the label. A media outlet in Hong Kong recently reported that a type of instant ramen containing dog meat has been growing in popularity.
According to the report, the brand Dog Ramen is made in the Yian Bian autonomous region in Ji Lin Province, where almost half of the population is ethnically Korean. These are said to be the main consumers. Interest in the product is high at the moment due to the media coverage, but the product has actually been available to the general public for over 10 years.
Dog Ramen looks a lot like the instant ramen Western consumers are familiar with, except it has the words “dog meat” written on the label in Korean and customers only have to pay about 2 yuan each for one (about 30 cents US). From Yian Bian, the ramen is also exported to Beijing in the north, Guangdong is the south, and even to neighboring North Korea.
According to a worker at the factory, it takes 30 kilos of dog meat to make 3000 packages of Dog Ramen. If they make 30,000 units in one day, that adds up to about 20 large dogs.
However popular it might be, Dog Ramen may not be around for much longer. Recently, China has been considering a law against animal cruelty. If the law goes into effect, the fine for using cats or dogs in food will be up to 5000 yuan (about $790 US) and violators may also spend up to 15 days in jail. Those responsible for slaughtering the animals face a fine of up to 500,000 yuan (about $7900 US).
Good news for dog lovers. Bad news for dog meat lovers.