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Saint Bernard chop suey ? - please, Winston

I'VE JUST finished walking my dog and as a bona fide, genuine dog-lover wandering along the beach I got to thinking about some disturbing, indeed sickening news I heard courtesy of Winston Peters a few months back.

Rembering back to May 15 and a New Zealand First press release issued with the headline " Winston to the rescure of Man's best friend" I couldn't help musing what the updated situation was so I hope Winston or any of his wards get hold of my words and let me know whats going on.

Getting back to the original press release it told how our hero Winston had gotten wind of a horrid conspiracy involving the breeding and exporting of Kiwi dogs for the meat markets of Asia.

Mr Peters spoke of the sadistic practice of torturing dogs so adrenaline is released into their system at the moment of death which according to Peters created a more "potent and flavoured meat".

The man of the people added that Saint Bernards _ those heroic mountain rescue mutts - had been targetted by Asian dog farmers because it was regarded as a "perfect animal for meat producton".

He went on to worry the country's army of dog lovers with tales of dubious dog dealers approaching breeders with talk of establishing puppy farms - this info he went on to stress "alarms me a great deal".

No as I said I love dogs and at first glance these words from Winston would also cause me alarm but closer reflection really does set alarm bells ringing in my head - and these bells are warning me that perhaps the man who at his best is one of NZ's consumate politiciams is going mad.

As well as being a dog lover and one whose seventh dog is at this second drying himself after an hour long dip in the Lyall Bay surf I am also Chinese and have lived in Asia for close to seven years.

In fact I have even unwittingly eaten dog only to be violently sick after being told what the rich meat was - this was purely a psychological reaction as everyone else was smacking their lips as I dashed from the table to throw up.

Anyway I believe I'm suitably qualified to comment on Winston war on the exporters of Saint Bernards and any other dogs to sate the appetite of Asians who enjoy a diet of dog meat.

It is true that dog is eaten in Asia as is cat but it is a tradition based on poverty not on gourmet preferences. In winter in dirt poor Asian communities the only meat on offer was often dogs and cats so recipes developed using these meats. It was and never has been considered a delicacy just a traditional winter hotpot. And as for the export of specific breeds that really is a pile of dog dung.

No-one Asian or not would be able to tell one dog meat from another and as for importing dogs for the pot - can you believe that much money would be spent on meat that tradtionally was used only as a last resort by people poorer than the average Kiwi could imagine.

As for Winston's expertise regarding the tortuous beatings dogs take to improve the quality of meat he is the one telling the story and while he deserves some credit for the "winebox" scandal until he produces a "dog-kennel" of evidence proving the export of dogs for Asian dinners he deserves nothing but concern as he's obviously going barking mad.

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