London - (Rotters): UK food retailer Tesco came under repeated criticism today after reports found that its newly opened Beijing store is selling frozen cats and dogs alongside the usual supermarket items like crackers, condoms and tomato ketchup.
But the shop's management is adamant that it is operating according to local needs and complying with internationally-certified ethical retailing standards.
It's spokesman told the press today that "rather than pandering to the wholesale cruelty of criminal gangs selling caged live feral cats and dogs to the Western fur coat fashion industry" the supermarket group was following a policy of selling humanely frozen organically-reared animals for local consumption according to complex traditional dietary laws.
These had been studied by the group's UK HQ which took over 100,000 samples of regionally-sourced Chinese take-away meals sold in the UK.
The only retailing difference was that at the Beijing store none of the frozen feline and canine products are sold with dodgy-looking sweet and sour sauces, black bean gunk or the universally loathed ginger, spring onion and mono-sodium glutamate dressing.
First quarter sales are already looking promising despite threats from EU animal rights activists to send Heather Mills on a good-will visit early next month.