Every year, around 10-20 million dogs are killed in China. About 4 million cats are also killed here. Thousands of people flock to the dog meat festival in Yulin in the southern Chinese region of Guangxi every year. The most famous dog meat festival started on June 21. The Yulin festival is an annual 10 day event where over 10,000 dogs are eaten. Dog consumption is deeply rooted in China and the locals do not want to give up their traditions. Although a large number of people protest against the consumption of dogs, this custom continues here.
Brutal treatment of dogs
There are no animal protection laws in China. Most of the dogs at the festival are stolen from their owners or are collected on the street. Subsequently, the dogs are sold for meat. Dogs are often treated brutally. Many dogs and cats are housed in very small cages where they cannot move. Before being killed, they are often skinned alive, cooked alive or burned with fire to release as much adrenaline as possible before death. Some believe that when meat is full of adrenaline, then it is tastier.
“There is a very vocal opposition in China to the dog meat trade, and that includes what’s going on in Yulin,” Peter Li, China expert for Humane Society International, told Newsweek.
“Most people want nothing to do with cruelty, and there’s a new, young, affluent generation of Chinese who care deeply about their pets and are appalled by dog thieves.”
“Over the years, there have been many appeals to the authorities to introduce a ban, and this is certainly supported and encouraged by support from the West,” Li said.
“But it’s really important to recognize the tremendous energy that exists in China for change. There are hundreds of dedicated animal rights activists who intercept dog and cat transports on the street, get the police involved to seize the animals, and take care of them after they’re rescued. ”
“Cruelty and suffering exist in every part of this trade,” Li said. “In Yulin – or any other destination – the dogs are forcibly unloaded, with the cages routinely thrown out of the truck and slammed to the ground. Physical injuries from the sharp wire cage, bites, rough handling and crushed limbs cause untold suffering to the dogs. ”
“The method by which they are slaughtered varies, but usually the dogs are beaten to death with a metal pipe in front of others and then bleed to death through a cut in the throat or groin,” he said.
“When you visit a dog or cat slaughterhouse, you meet traumatized dogs who have witnessed the killing of their cage mates and know for sure that the same thing will happen to them. It’s a very harrowing experience. ”
Eating dog meat is legal in China
Consuming dog meat is legal in mainland China except for the city of Shenzhen, and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has never issued quarantine procedures for slaughtering dogs. In 2020, the commercial slaughter and sale of dogs was banned in all of China. Slaughter for own use legal. Millions of dogs are executed illegally, but there is no one to regulate such a thing. Some activists are even being arrested for no reason.
According to some estimates, around 30 million dogs are consumed annually worldwide, but this is a very rough estimate, the exact numbers cannot be ascertained. Currently, most dog meat is consumed in China, Nigeria and Vietnam. It is also consumed in many other countries, but to a lesser extent, such as Malaysia, North Korea and the Philippines. Dog meat was also consumed in Europe and the USA, but it was especially in the 20th century that there was a shortage of meat on the market.
According to a 2016 survey, more than half of Chinese people do not agree with eating dog meat.
Photo credit: Vice News – youtube.com/watch?v=YfaZeIxHFUM – screenshots, youtube.com/watch?v=9-8zcBogaKY – screenshots