Ti­betan Mas­tiff los­ing ap­peal as sta­tus sym­bol

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Like luxury cars and houses in China, a Ti­betan mas­tiff was once deemed a sta­tus sym­bol for China’s nou­veau riche.

The mar­ket for the shaggy, lion-like dogs sky rock­eted over the past two decades. Ac­cord­ing to the Ti­betan Mas­tiff As­so­ci­a­tion, there were 95 puppy farms in the au­ton­o­mous re­gion sell­ing nearly 10,000 dogs an­nu­ally be­fore 2012. In 2012, a pup was re­port­edly sold for 20 mil­lion yuan ($3.23 mil­lion) in Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince.

But now only 66 farms sur­vive with 3,000 of the ex­otic breed sold in 2014. The cool­ing of the mar­ket can be at­trib­uted to reg­u­la­tions against large dogs in cities, said Wang Zhankui, chief of a mas­tiff re­search cen­ter in He­nan prov­ince. Cases of pet mas­tiffs, known for a loyal but fierce dis­po­si­tion, in­jur­ing or killing fam­ily mem­bers and passersby are oc­ca­sion­ally re­ported, lead­ing to a ban on rais­ing the breed in cities in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Tian­jin.

China’s on­go­ing anti-cor­rup­tion drive has also taken its toll, Wang said. The dogs were once a fash­ion­able gift from busi­ness­men to of­fi­cials but now both avoid buy­ing or re­ceiv­ing them. (Photo 2)

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