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  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 5:57am
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ANIMAL RIGHTS

Yulin's dog meat festival deaf to critics

Yulin residents look forward to their traditional solstice feast while animal activists cry foul

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 6:51am
 

A controversial "dog meat festival" will go ahead next Friday in Yulin, Guangxi, despite an online outcry by animal rights activists.

The annual festival involving savouring the delights of dog meat hotpot, lychees and strong liquor on the Summer Solstice is a cherished tradition among Yulin locals. Thousands of diners are expected to crowd food streets and enjoy the feast. Animal protection activists estimate more than 10,000 dogs are killed during the festival.

"Those who don't have time to go to the food streets usually cook dog meat and eat lychees at home," a resident said.

Activists fear demand encourages the abduction of strays or pets. But officials say the consumed canines are raised by local dog farms.

Efforts to block the festival - including open letters to the Yulin government, recruitment of celebrities to condemn the practice and even petitioning to the US White House - have angered some Yulin locals.

A Yulin resident, who identified herself as Annie, said she would defend the festival as it was part of Yulin's tradition.

"It's unfair to call Yulin people brutal only because we have this tradition to eat dog meat. People who call us uncivilised and cruel should stop eating meat first," said Annie.

Yulin officials did not answer calls for comment yesterday.

Du Yufeng, who works for a Sichuan-based animal protection organisation, said she saw slaughtered dogs on sale in several wet markets in Yulin yesterday. "The massive dog killing is going to start very soon, as it usually take several days for the dog meat dealers to prepare for the one-day festival," she said.

In an earlier response to her organisation's open letter to cancel the festival, Yulin authorities promised they would tighten sanitation inspections and crack down on dog slaughtering in public during this year's festival.

There are no animal welfare laws on the mainland but selling dog meat requires official sanitation certificates.

Du, however, questioned the effectiveness of such inspections, suspecting that officials informed market managers in advance of their rounds.

Officials in Zhejiang province cancelled a similar dog meat festival in 2011 following an online campaign.

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This article is now closed to comments

beccajaneashworth
OMG, anyone who thinks the only issue is that they eat dogs, really needs to educate themselves. Google a few pages on the Asian dog meat trade and see for yourself what a barbaric trade it is. Most of these dogs are crammed into cages so tightly that limbs and snouts are broken and crushed, some suffocate, and they get no food or water. They are then TORTURED to death by all sorts of vile methods, IN FRONT OF EACH OTHER, because many Asians believe that the more pain and fear an animal suffers, the better the meat. YES, it IS true. Go visit the Soi Dog Foundation page and start learning! TORTURE, is NOT culture, and until we have seeing eye cows, search and rescue pigs, and police and military chickens doing guard duty, I will NEVER compare a dog to a farm animal, they have a long history of service and loyalty to humans that is unequalled, and my guess is that if these people who would boil alive, skin alive, beat to death, hang, electrocute and burn with blow torches these dogs, were to be buried in the rubble of an earthquake, they would still be longing for search and rescue dogs to sniff them out. It is absolutely VILE what they do to animals in China and other Asian countries, and after you have witnessed some of the horror, we'll have this discussion again.
joanmiyaoka
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated. - Mahatma Gandhi
chaz_hen
Hey, I totally support the festival! This has been a part of the culture of this region for ages and if there's one thing China needs to preserve, in addition to the environment, it's culture!
"Animal Rights" activists can go s_c_r_e_w themselves... why are they so concerned about a few thousand dogs being consumed when millions of cows, pigs and sheep are slaughtered daily? Seems a bit hypocritical. Is it because those poor little cute puppies are the pets people choose to domesticate, dress in silly clothing and put in handbags whilst shopping?
It is not uncivilised nor cruel for people to continue cultural traditions as long as sustainability does not become an issue such as the Japanese with their whale slaughters.
Stephan
What if a tradition/culture is cruel and horrible, just maintain it? Open your eyes man and please get real. China does not love animals, nor do they treat them decently; only their bloody pandas are treated like gods!!
inhumane
wow, so authorities agreed to not show the inhumane, 3rd world torture of loving innocent animals in public. How sick is that? They know it's wrong, the whole world is watching in total disgust and horror. These are NOT farm animals and we don't purposely torture animals so they taste better. There is a huge difference between cows,pigs, ect (first of all half of these animals are stolen pets for gods sake.) It's the way torture these poor animals, so they can get a frigging hardon- take Viagra. These people are NOT human and don't belong in society. They are sick and this whole stupid tradition is a complete JOKE. The whole world should boycott China until they come into the 21st centurary. Disgusting and evil at it's greastest form possible.
beccajaneashworth
OMG, anyone who thinks the only issue is that they eat dogs, really needs to educate themselves. Google a few pages on the Asian dog meat trade and see for yourself what a barbaric trade it is. Most of these dogs are crammed into cages so tightly that limbs and snouts are broken and crushed, some suffocate, and they get no food or water. They are then TORTURED to death by all sorts of vile methods, IN FRONT OF EACH OTHER, because many Asians believe that the more pain and fear an animal suffers, the better the meat. YES, it IS true. Go visit the Soi Dog Foundation page and start learning! TORTURE, is NOT culture, and until we have seeing eye cows, search and rescue pigs, and police and military chickens doing guard duty, I will NEVER compare a dog to a farm animal, they have a long history of service and loyalty to humans that is unequalled, and my guess is that if these people who would boil alive, skin alive, beat to death, hang, electrocute and burn with blow torches these dogs, were to be buried in the rubble of an earthquake, they would still be longing for search and rescue dogs to sniff them out. It is absolutely VILE what they do to animals in China and other Asian countries, and after you have witnessed some of the horror, we'll have this discussion again.
nikki.shalloe.7
Well Annie why do you have to torture and boil and skin these animals alive? If you must consume these poor animals why not keep them in decent conditions, kill them quickly and as humanely as possible before boiling or skinning , I await your reply from Nikki Great Britain
inhumane
Just look at that thing (won't even call it a person waiting with a shovel to torture those poor dogs) Anyone that is involved in this savage practice should ALL be shipped to some jungle and all eat each other like the barbaric savages they are. This is disgusting on EVERY LEVEL!
wwong888
Humans don't even have rights in china so the animals are clearly screwed
bachaus
So you defend tradition, so traditionally in some cultures women get female genital mutilation due to tradition with your type of thinking this mutilation would continue. You are brutal backwards people to think eating a companion animal is acceptable. Annie - yes I have given up meat - and on the topic of killing animals do you actually think that it is humane to torture an animal to add to it flavor or that dog meat keeps you warm your culture is barbaric and uneducated. I hope your people gets wiped out by disease

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