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Tibetan Mastiffs Continue to Suffer After Yushu Quake

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Medicine wanted

Dog food shortages are not the only problem faced by mastiff breeders.

Medicine has become extremely important for injury treatment and disease prevention, Tseom said.

Most needed were those for diarrhea, and vaccines for rabies, he added.

Many breeders feared that the present food and medicine shortages could cause more mastiff deaths, and greater financial losses.

Breeder Tsering who lost 17 dogs in the quake, regrets he did not sell his best dog Jiangyuan King before the quake.

"Someone offered me 1.8 million yuan (about US$265,000). Now he is dead, killed by the quake, along with 11 others after their shelter collapsed," said he.

"They could not escape. I had chained them up to stop them being stolen," said Tsering with a sigh.

Five puppies also died a few days after the quake of starvation and disease, Tsering added.

"Mastiff breeding is not as profitable as some believe. I used to have more than 30 mastiffs. The meat to feed them would cost me nearly 1,000 yuan a day. I'd lose money if the puppies did not sell for a good price," he said.H An average mastiff can normally sell for more than 100,000 yuan, but only the top ones go for more than a million.

Drarin Tashi, a 46-year-old mastiff breeder who had invested more than 200,000 yuan on 16 mastiffs, was also pessimistic.

"Five of them died in the quake, and the rest have only got slimmer and slimmer. No one wants to buy mastiffs anymore. I don't know what to do," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2010)


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