Visiting a pet market in Guangzhou

For some animal lovers the Yuehe Flower and Bird Market (越和花鸟鱼艺大世界) might be a paradise. Lots of different pets from cats and dogs to turtles, birds and squirrels. But to some animal lovers from the West it might be a terrible place. Too many animals in cages too small. Kittens looking sad and waiting for someone to offer them a better home.

After living in China for all most two years now, I know that animal rights aren’t quite on the same level than they are in Finland. Are there even any laws in China concerning having pets or treating animals? I was happily surprised that the pet market wasn’t as bad as I thought it to be. It was quite clean and  lacked the strong smell I was prepared for.

Yuehe is a pet market, not a food market. Even though Chinese people eat dog meat for example (you can even get it near where I live), pets and food are a different thing. There are cases when pet dogs have been stolen for restaurants, but I still believe that no one intentionally wants to eat anyone’s pet.

The pet market is not just for buying animals, there are also many shops for pet products. So if you are a pet owner in Guangzhou, this is the place to buy climbing trees for your cat (I bought one and you can see the picture here!), toys for your parrot and everything you need for your fish aquarium.

Have you visited a pet market in China? Was it worse or better than Yuehu market in Guangzhou? Are there pet markets like this in your home country?


  • sandy

    Are those baby alligators? I didn’t even know China had pet markets/shops. Pet shops are quite uncommon in the US. Some people buy pets from stores, some adopt from animal concentration camps (pounds), some buy private owners from newspaper/internet ads.

    Sara Reply:

    I’m not sure if they are alligators or crocodiles. There are three pet shops near where I live selling animals and pet products, but they don’t have so much variety in products as the pet markets. In Finland there are only small animals being sold at pet shops, no cats or dogs.

  • Jack

    They all look very tasty! Put some seasoning on them and they are all good….! :D

    Joking aside, don’t expect China to have animal rights for long while since China is only on par with Thailand in term of GDP (and development on average) similar to the rest of the low-income underdeveloped South East Asian countries.

    Sara Reply:

    I think there are first a lot to do in the huma n rights section before China is ready to continue to animal rights.

    Jack Reply:

    I totally agree, if people can’t even respect each other’s basic rights as human, how can they expect to respect the animals?

    But the reason why I allude to the GDP is because GDP is directly more or less relate to human rights and democracy. Poor people have no rights. This is especially true in poor third world countries, even countries supposely to have democracy, but without even basic access to food, water, sanitation there is no “human rights” to speak of. “Democracy” is a byproduct of a wealthy nation – the wealthy middle class demanding rights after they have the attain certain level of material comforts (Eg. Democracy became widespread only after the industrial revolution and the introduction of capitalism in Europe, Women’s rights (to suffrage) in America after they achieved certain economic independence…etc)

  • Lulu

    Well, though I lived Guangzhou nearly four years, I have never went to the pet markets. I agree about the lack of protection of pets, but I think the Chinese are getting to be aware of the problems. By the way, I read that you have studied in Sun Yat-sen University. Are u still learning there? I am a senior student in Sun Yat-sen University. Wish everything goes well with u!

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Lulu! Yes I’m still studying at Sun Yat-Sen University. I do a undergraduate degree there in Chinese language studying with other foreign students. What’s your major? I study daily at the third teaching building near south gate.

  • Maz

    woah, woah, woahhh… are those alligators (or crocodiles) for sale? ‘_’ i have so many to questions to ask about this, but mostly WHY would someone buy one as a pet? (especially to put in the tiny chinese apartments)

    Sara Reply:

    I have no idea why someone would like to have an alligator for a pet :D

  • Flypicture

    Hi, i m gg to make a report about the animal trafficking in canton, could you give me some info ? thanks a lot

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    I’m sorry but I’m not sure where you should report about this. Have you found any info online?

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    I’m sorry but I’m not sure where you should report about this. Have you found any info online?