On Sunday, the Yulin dog meat festival will begin in spite of the Chinese declaration that dogs are pets and not food. A distressing video by Humane Society International’s partners shows rows and rows of dead dogs lined up on counters after having been brutally slaughtered.
One month ago, the Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry released a statement that dogs are not on the list of animals allowed to be bred, raised, traded and transported for commercial purposes. In a translated version from the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, dogs have been reclassified.
“With the progress of the times, people’s civilization ideas and eating habits are constantly changing, and some traditional customs about dogs will also change…”
In the video you’ll see puppies, who were on offer for slaughter and sale at a market just outside Yulin, being rescued by Chinese animal activists. When the advocates questioned the person who had the pups where they had been acquired, he quickly handed over the dogs to the rescuers.
“I couldn’t believer that anyone would even want to eat these adorable little darlings,” animal activist Jennifer Chen stated. “My hands were trembling … he kept licking my hands, and unbeknown to him I could easily have been a dog meat eater.”
Thus far, the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai have banned the consumption of dog and cat meat. Although in Yulin, the grizzly trade continues, activists state there is less activity this year. The Covid-19 pandemic may be partially to blame as government officials are becoming more stringent concerning animal transport. Younger people are also responsible for the decrease in dog and cat meat trade – the cruelty involved has become a stain on society as most people in China have pets and regard the dogs and cats as part of their families.
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