Police & Activists In China Intercept Truck With 386 Dogs En Route To Be Slaughtered At The Yulin Dog Meat ‘Festival’
Tomorrow, in the south China city of Yulin, the horrific Lychee and Dog Meat “Festival” will sadly begin. Police in the city of Shaanxi, together with activists campaigning for an end to the slaughter, have intercepted a dog meat truck headed for Yulin. The group was thankfully able to rescue all 386 dogs on board.
The truck with Yulin license plates was spotted on the highway about 500 miles from Yulin, crammed with cages of terrified dogs. Video and photos taken by the activists and released to global animal protection group Humane Society International show the moment Shaanxi police pulled the truck over on the road. It was a distressing scene of dogs crammed into small wire cages in the sweltering heat. The activists have praised Shaanxi police for their swift response noting that if all police took this zero tolerance approach, China’s brutal dog meat trade would come to an end.
Activists have also released new footage taken on June 18th at a dog meat market in Yulin city center where market stalls can be seen piled with dog and cat carcasses.
“The Shaanxi police response was really impressive, they came out in force and pulled the truck over, taking the dogs under police control when the driver was unable to prove he had acquired and transported them legally. It was a very tense time for us but thanks to the authorities, these dogs are now safe in police quarantine where they can get food, water, and rest,” Lin Xiong, one of the activists at the scene, told HSI. “If only all police across China would have such a firm zero tolerance approach to these dog thieves and traffickers, it would be the end of the dog trade here.”
The dogs saved were a mixture of breeds, with some stolen as pets that were still wearing their collars. Many appeared to be in poor physical health with infected eyes and skin disease.
If after 21 days, the dog trafficker refuses to pay a hefty fine, the dogs will be released to the activists. Dog traffickers rarely pay fines because they usually exceed the profit they would make from selling the animals.
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.
“Despite the fact that most people in China don’t eat dogs, dog eating hotspots in the south, such as Yulin, do still exist, and millions of dogs continue to suffer terribly. I’m so proud of the Chinese activists who are standing up for these animals, and the police whose response was absolutely vital, because without them, these dogs would already be dead on the kill floor of a Yulin slaughterhouse. This video shows the efforts happening in China to stop this trade, and the passion of people who oppose the cruelty,” stated Peter Li, Ph.D., China policy specialist for Humane Society International, which supports the care of dogs rescued from China’s dog meat trade. “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 fueled by dog thieves, so there are compelling reasons for the authorities to really crack down on this trade.”
Launched in 2010 by dog meat traders to boost flagging sales, the Yulin event starts on June 21st and can attract thousands of visitors from across the province in southern China. The people shockingly gather to eat dog meat stew and crispy dog meat at the city’s restaurants and stalls. It is unfathomable that this horrific event continues, despite the fact that 72% of Yulin’s citizens don’t regularly eat dog. Throughout China there is significant opposition to the dog meat trade as concern for animal welfare grows.
As previously reported by WAN, dog meat eating in South Korea also increases during the summertime as dog meat soup or “bosintang” is often eaten by older citizens who claim that it will help them “beat the heat.”
A government task force is currently debating the issue of a ban, with both President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee in favor of putting an end to the sickening practice. An estimated 30 million dogs per year are still killed for their meat in other parts of Asia.
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.
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg