As June progresses, the date of the controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival looms. The festival, which involves consuming dog meat and lychees, will begin on June 21st. Activists, celebrities, and dog-lovers worldwide have condemned the festival that results in the cruel slaughter of thousands of dogs each year. Still, it continues.
In the 10 years since the festival began, too many dogs have died and been subjected to horrible conditions. But thankfully, there are a lot of people out there trying to save other dogs from suffering this same fate. Progress has occurred, but more needs to happen to end this history of suffering.
What Is The Yulin Festival?
Also known as the Lychee And Dog Meat Festival, it’s an event held annually in Yulin, China during the summer solstice days. The festival starts on or around June 21st. Approximately 10,000 dogs are consumed each year. Prior to that though, they’re kept in inhumane conditions and brutally beaten to death in slaughterhouses.
The Yulin Dog Meat Festival is no longer affiliated with the Yulin government, nor is it a “traditional” Chinese event. The festival only began in 2010 as a means for dog traders to boost sales and to attract tourists. Prior to this festival, Yulin had no history of mass dog slaughter and consumption.
Though dogs are eaten here and throughout Asia, most Chinese people do not eat dogs. Most citizens also believe the consumption of dog meat damages China’s reputation and condemn the festival. Opinions on dogs have evolved, and most are in favor of ending dog consumption entirely.
Where Do The Dogs Come From?
In 2015, Animals Asia conducted a four-year investigation into the dog meat industry in China. They found no evidence of any large-scale breeding facilities in the country, which ultimately supported the idea that the majority of so-called “meat dogs” are actually stolen family dogs and strays. Festival-goers have reported seeing dogs with collars on.
According to Animals Asia, some dog meat farms even registered under multiple names to fudge the facts and attempt to cover-up the widespread family pet thefts.
Timeline Of The Yulin Festival
- The festival begins as Chinese dog traders hope to boost meat sales.
- The government of Yulin removes the event’s official backing.
- Chinese activists intercept a truck containing over 400 live dogs bound for the dog meat market.
- For the first time, the number of dogs slaughtered during the festival begins to decline.
- In an AVAAZ poll of Chinese citizens, 64% of respondents support ending the Yulin festival.
- Activists acquire 11 million signatures on a petition against the festival.
- Matt Damon, Ricky Gervais, and other celebrities record a PSA speaking out against the Yulin festival.
- China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs officially reclassifies dogs as companions and not “livestock” for eating.
- The festival will still occur on June 21st…
How You Can Help
Enough is enough, we have to end this slaughter! No matter where you are in the world, there are a few ways you can help stop the senseless dog and cat killing in Yulin.
Sign The Petitions:
Saving At-Risk Dogs:
Animal rights organizations advise against adopting dogs in Yulin as a response to the festival. A 2017 letter signed by over 100 Chinese animal rights organizations reads:
“Buying large numbers of dogs at Yulin is stimulating the local market, increasing the number of dogs slaughtered and increasing the price of dog meat, while the welfare of rescued dogs cannot be guaranteed, providing opportunities for criminals to defraud domestic and foreign donors.”
Buying dogs in Yulin pushes up the local dog meat price, which increases the price for them during the Summer Solstice period and helps vendors make more profit. The letter also notes that dog meat is consumed in other areas of the country too, and dogs there need rescuing as well.
You can, however, support organizations doing that work like:
Spread The Word!
We’ve made progress, but we still have more to do! Share this post with others who want to help end this horrible practice for good.
Featured Image: @hsiglobal/Facebook