Animal rights activists have relaunched a petition against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival — an event in which thousands of cats and dogs are slaughtered.
In Yulin, China, government officials have supposedly “banned” the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival after it attracted protesters from around the world flew to the city.
Unfortunately, killing cats and dogs for meat is still allowed in China, and the local government in Yulin says it cannot stop businesses preparing dog meat in the run-up to this year’s solstice on 21 June.
According to campaigners, the slaughter takes place more or less as usual this year whether it is “festival” season or not.
Because of this, a petition launched last year by Andrea Gung of Duo Duo Project has been re-launched, and now has more than 210,000 supporters.
“I witnessed the Dog Meat Festival in 2014. Some dogs were still wagging their tails when they were being killed in the slaughterhouse,” Gung told The Independent. “The trust dogs put in humans is much greater than other animals. With the worldwide homeless dogs problem we already betrayed them once – now eating them is what I call the ultimate betrayal.”
The protesters say the festival encourages a rampant black market for dog and cat meat in the city of Yulin, where traders avoid regulations designed to prevent the spread of diseases like rabies.
Humane Society International sent an undercover investigator to visit a Yulin slaughterhouse two days after the government banned the festival.
Posing as a meat vendor, the investigator found that dogs and cats were transported, caged and killed in filthy conditions at murky slaughterhouses where the smell was “offensive” – before being sold illegally.
Judging by their breeds and collars, many of the dogs looked like former pets who had either been stolen or abandoned, Peter Li said.
“Mass dog slaughter is still ongoing at Yulin despite the local authorities trying to give the impression that’s it’s ended,” Li told Mail Online. “The Yulin government has declared the ‘festival’ will not happen, but this is mere semantics and thousands of dogs will still die for their meat whether it’s called a festival or not.”
Despite the ban, campaigners are still expected to travel to Yulin to fight the dog and cat meat trade – but local vendors have found ways of turning this to their advantage.
The annual backlash against the festival has resulted in a tourist boom for the city in recent years. Local media reports that, dog meat traders have threatened to kill the animals in violent and inhumane ways unless the protesters agree to buy their freedom.
Humane Society International has also launched its own petition against what it calls the “festival of cruelty”.
Raise Ur Paw has also launched their own petition against Yulin Dog Meat Festival and was backed by the actor and comedian Ricky Gervais – a prominent supporter of animal rights.
- To sign the Humane Society International’s campaign: click here.
- To join the original Duo Duo Project petition: click here.
- To sign Raise Ur Paw’s petition: click here.
Image source: AP/Humane Society International
Article source: The Independent