Nearly 400 dogs rescued from slaughter as Chinese activists continue fighting infamous Yulin ‘festival’

By on June 29, 2022 with 0 Comments

Earlier this month we told you about Lucky, a dog saved moments before slaughter in Yulin, as the city began preparing for its infamous lychee and dog meat “festival” later in June. Since Lucky’s rescue, local activists have been vigilant in their determination to end this event for good.

In the days and nights leading up to the summer solstice, activists stayed awake at all hours to patrol highways for trucks transporting dogs into the city for slaughter. With their help, police in Xi’an intercepted a truck bound for Yulin and confiscated all 386 dogs, many of whom were stolen pets still wearing collars. Activists praised the police for their swift response; if all law enforcement agencies took this zero-tolerance approach, China’s dog meat trade would come to an end.

The term “festival” is a misnomer because there is actually very little about this week in June that would be recognizable as festivities. The event was originally marketed as a festival when it was launched in 2010 by dog meat traders. After years of opposition by Chinese animal advocates, supported by global voices such as Humane Society International, the event has been vastly reduced, and now it would be more accurate to describe it as a dinner party for some locals during which dog meat is eaten in greater volume, and visitors from other cities arrive in the city for the alleged local “specialty.”

Local animal groups report that business at this year’s event was once again slow. While dog meat was still sold at the markets, the number of diners inside local restaurants was noticeably smaller. Although Yulin has become globally famous for all the wrong reasons, the spotlight on this cruelty often overshadows the fact that dogs and cats are killed for meat in Yulin and other cities in the Guangxi region and beyond all year round. Long after the world’s media have moved on from Yulin in June, this brutal trade, though extremely small in view of China’s gigantic economy, continues to be responsible for the suffering and death of millions of dogs across China every year.

Transport cages such as these are typically used to bring dogs to the slaughterhouses in Yulin. HSI

Every year, we highlight the rescue of dogs and cats who, thanks to the diligence of local activists, are saved and brought to shelters to recover and begin new lives as adoptable pets. While we hope that this dog and cat cruelty will come to an end in Yulin and across China, it is vital to amplify the voices and efforts of all those Chinese advocates calling for change. The activists whose actions changed the lives of 386 dogs on the eve of the Yulin event, deserve our praise and admiration.

All 386 dogs were handed over to the activists on June 21. While most were taken in by local shelters, 80 were accepted to animal welfare group Vshine’s shelter in north China, which is supported by Humane Society International. The dogs are now receiving much-needed veterinary care as well as nutritious food and time to heal, before being offered for local adoption when they fully recover.

These are the silver linings that keep us fighting this cruel trade—but we know that no rescue can replace the urgent need to ban the dog meat trade. This is why other elements of this year’s Yulin event stand out as positive marks of progress:

  • Our partner group activists who were stationed in several sections of the highways leading to Guangxi reported that most of the time they saw no dog trucks on the highway. The only one they saw was the truck that was successfully intercepted in Shaanxi, many miles away. This suggests a reduction in the volume of dog trafficking.
  • Activists on the ground had expected to see a surge in dog slaughter and dog meat sales because 2022 was the first year since the COVID-19 pandemic began that China had lifted most of the restrictions on live animal transport across provinces. Instead, business at Yulin’s dog meat restaurants was surprisingly slow.
  • From early June, our partner group mobilized concerned citizens from across China to urge through hundreds of phone calls different provincial offices urging a stop to the slaughter and the dog meat trade. This level of citizen mobilization shows the strength of opposition against the cruelty.
  • Although much more needs to be done, the Yulin authorities have heard domestic and international criticism and have been restricting many of the usual practices of the traders.

Dog meat is not part of China’s mainstream food culture. It is not a common food choice of citizens of Yulin, or indeed most of China, but is pushed out to consumers at a steady pace by those who can profit from it. Across China, there is significant opposition to the dog meat trade. And even the authorities do not see dogs as food. In 2020, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs made an official statement that dogs are companion animals and not “livestock” for eating. The cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai in south China led the country in outlawing dog meat trade through local legislation, which we hope other cities will replicate in future.

Persistence is so much a part of the work we do to make the world a more humane place for animals. I have no doubt that the persistence and dedication of the activists on the ground and the shelters and organizations in support of saving these dogs from slaughter will soon create the future we all want to see, one where the dog meat trade no longer exists.

You can join us in taking a stand against the dog meat trade.

Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.

Good news! Louisiana becomes 9th state to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals

By on June 27, 2022 with 1 Comment
Good news! Louisiana becomes 9th state to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals

In a victory for rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats and all animals used for testing, Louisiana is the latest state to take steps to end the cruel and unnecessary use of animals to test cosmetics. Eight other states (California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Maine, Hawaii . . . 

Read More

Major developments in pivotal Supreme Court case for animals

By on June 23, 2022 with 2 Comments
Major developments in pivotal Supreme Court case for animals

A lawsuit currently being considered by the United States Supreme Court will have enormous consequences for millions of animals across the country—and we have news about major developments, some of it positive and some disappointing. Regardless, the fight continues. First, some background: The pork industry . . . 

Read More

Animal-friendly ways to celebrate July 4 (Hint: It’s not fireworks)

By on June 21, 2022 with 3 Comments
Animal-friendly ways to celebrate July 4 (Hint: It’s not fireworks)

Anyone with pets knows that our furry family members can become so frightened by exploding fireworks that they do anything to escape the noise, whether it’s hiding in the bathtub, or something more desperate (and dangerous), such as breaking through windows or door screens. At . . . 

Read More

It’s graduation season: Have you considered a career devoted to helping animals?

By on June 17, 2022 with 1 Comment
It’s graduation season: Have you considered a career devoted to helping animals?

When I joined the Humane Society of the United States back in 1992 as a legal investigator, I couldn’t have predicted that my career path would lead me to the role I serve now, as president and CEO of the HSUS and CEO of Humane . . . 

Read More

As India swelters under intense heat waves, we’re helping communities care for their dogs

By on June 15, 2022 with 0 Comments
As India swelters under intense heat waves, we’re helping communities care for their dogs

For the past several months, a deadly heat wave has been sweeping Northern India, affecting hundreds of millions of people and sending temperatures soaring to record heights. In some areas, the heat has gotten as severe as 49.2 C / 120.5 F. And because the . . . 

Read More

How to make your summer animal-friendly

By on June 13, 2022 with 2 Comments
How to make your summer animal-friendly

The dog days of summer, where temperatures climb and people head outdoors, have nearly arrived. It is especially important to keep animals in mind during this active season—not just the companions in our homes but also the wild animals we may encounter while hiking in . . . 

Read More

‘Aggressive’ horse from Assateague Island arrives at our sanctuary

By on June 9, 2022 with 18 Comments
‘Aggressive’ horse from Assateague Island arrives at our sanctuary

Our sanctuary in Texas, Black Beauty Ranch, plays an extremely important and inspiring role for animals who have nowhere left to go. Take Chip, the horse who arrived at Black Beauty this week from Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. He had to be removed . . . 

Read More

Photographer shows survivors of dog meat farms in inspiring new light

By on June 6, 2022 with 5 Comments
Photographer shows survivors of dog meat farms in inspiring new light

Not so long ago, for a golden retriever now known as Chewbacca (nicknamed Chewy), the whole world was the small, dirty space inside the four wire sides of his pen. The first five years of Chewy’s life were spent on a dog meat farm in . . . 

Read More

Breaking: Lawsuit forces U.S. to rethink bird flu response

By on June 4, 2022 with 11 Comments
Breaking: Lawsuit forces U.S. to rethink bird flu response

When a strain of bird flu sweeps through factory farms, where birds are tightly confined, the current “solution” involves immense cruelty. This is why it’s a genuine milestone in the fight against factory farming that the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary and . . . 

Read More

Lucky was the last dog scheduled for slaughter. Then something incredible happened.

By on June 3, 2022 with 4 Comments
Lucky was the last dog scheduled for slaughter. Then something incredible happened.

Before Lucky was known as Lucky, he was a nameless dog chained outside a shop in Yulin, China, with a sign in front of him advertising dog meat. He couldn’t have known that death was mere moments away, nor anticipate how his fate might change. . . . 

Read More

Testing lab remains silent, but voices demanding beagles’ release grow louder 

By on May 31, 2022 with 23 Comments
Testing lab remains silent, but voices demanding beagles’ release grow louder 

We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the 82 beagles languishing at Inotiv’s Mount Vernon, Indiana, laboratory that was the site of our recent undercover investigation. A Humane Society of the United States investigator found 80 beagle puppies being force-fed potentially toxic . . . 

Read More

Top