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  • Jul 12, 2014
  • Updated: 7:43pm
NewsChina
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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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.
nikki.shalloe.7
You are a vile person, you should be in a mental asylum or boiled alive in a boiling pot, must break your legs first so you cant climb out
inhumane
@ Chaz-hen- Your barbaric culture does NOT belong in the 21st centuary . It's not just animal activists that want this stopped , it's 80% of the world population!!! The 10% that do want this are giving your country such a bad name. I for 1 will never buy a china product again until you educate yourselves and gets some humane laws like the rest of the world.
kaj.dalfall
Bullfighting in Spain was/is also a tradition, does not make it less barbaric anyhow. Any tradition that is barbaric must be stopped, I don't CARE if the peoples feelings get hurt. Deal with it.
chaz_hen
Bravo! YOU don't care so WE must deal with it. That is a rational and well thought out statement.
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.
chaz_hen
Some dogs were destined for rescue work, guiding blind people, etc. and other dogs were destined for the soup. Just like some pigs can be pets and roam freely and others are destined for the abattoir.
It's quite obvious from your comments your racially superior attitude figures in on your argument starting with the usage of "Asians believe that the more pain..."
Where are your hard figures on that statement? Your evidence? From the society of bleeding heart white cauc_asians? You could not colonialize the entire continent of Asia so you're trying to force what you think is Western morally acceptable onto the people of Asia?
beccajaneashworth
NO dog should be destined for soup, and I happen to believe that pigs do not belong in houses either. I have no "racially superior attitude" as you put it, while others are saying all Chinese are scum, I remind them that there are kind people there who fight this evil in their own country, and they need support. It is you who jump to conclusions. It is well documented by many animal welfare organizations, including Asians themselves who are against it, that Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans and Philipinos who eat dog meat believe this to be true and continue to practice it. Where are your hard facts to the contrary? Bury your head in the sand if you want by trying to turn it back on anyone who points it out, but it has been filmed and photographed thousands of times.
There is no specific type of dog that can be trained to be a service animal, and the ones destined for your dinner table, if trained, would willingly risk their lives to save yours, and the willingness to be of service to humans is betrayed by this intentionally cruel trade. However as far as cruelty, there are many other creatures that suffer in China, and in every country, and compassionate treatment of all animals is something I long to see. Chinese people in general have little compassion when it comes to the suffering of creatures. To those who say farm animals in the west are treated the same, yes conditions are not always humane, and many of us fight this too, but at least a quick death is expected.
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!!
babetree
They don't even have respect for the human race, so never mind the animals!

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