On the eve of the notorious Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, police and animal protection organizations rescued 386 dogs slated to be killed for human consumption.
According to the Humane Society International, the dogs were being transported to Yulin for slaughter when the truck was intercepted in Shaanxi Province, located hundreds of miles from Yulin on June 19 – just two days before the summer solstice and the start of the festival. There, thousands of people consume dog stew and other recipes at the market stalls set up along the city streets.
Hundreds of dogs had been packed into small wire cages amid the sweltering heat when the truck was pulled over.
The dogs rescued by the activists were a mixture of breeds, with some still wearing their pet collars. Many appeared to be in poor physical health with infected eyes and skin disease. They have been moved to a police quarantine facility for 21 days where they will recover and receive veterinary care. After 21 days, if the trafficker refuses to pay a hefty fine (which they rarely do because the fine exceeds the profit they would make from selling the dogs), the dogs will be released to the activists. A shelter supported by Humane Society International and run by HSI’s partner group Vshine has made itself available to take care of as many dogs as needed.HSI press release
Rescuers were horrified to find so many of the dogs in awful physical condition. It is estimated the dogs had been on the truck for days – some were dehydrated and starving, while many had been suffering from serious injuries.
We could see their petrified faces peering out from the cages and we knew those dogs were headed straight for Yulin slaugherhouses where they would be bludgeoned to death. video shows the efforts happening in China to stop this trade, and the passion of people who oppose the cruelty. As well as being an animal welfare nightmare, the Yulin gathering also flies in the face of China’s COVID-19 precautions and is largely fuelled by dog thieves, so there are compelling reasons for the authorities to really crack down on this trade. We very much hope that after the 21 days these rescued dogs will be handed over to the activists so that they can settle in at the HSI-supported shelter in north China and other rescue facilities. They are the lucky few.”HSI activist
The video below shows the efforts happening in China to stop the dog eating trade, and the passion of the animal welfare individuals and organizations dedicated to ending the nightmare. Although most people in China do not eat dogs, sections like Yulin continue old, tired customs, and the fight goes on.
In 2020, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs made an official statement that dogs are companion animals and not “livestock” for eating. That same year, two major cities in mainland China—Shenzhen and Zhuhai—banned the consumption of dog and cat meat, a decision polling showed was supported by nearly 75% of Chinese citizens.
Dog meat is banned in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, as well as in the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai in mainland China, Siem Reap province in Cambodia, and in 17 cities and regencies in Indonesia. An estimated 30 million dogs a year are still killed for meat in other parts of Asia.
(Photos and videos via HSI)
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Read previous articles about the Yulin Dog Eating Festival here.
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