A New Boxer Rebellion Needed in China

By on May 18, 2015 with 43 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

I’m excited to share more good news in the tough fight to rid China of the cruel dog meat trade. This past weekend, Guangdong and Heilongjiang, normally home to two of China’s biggest dog meat markets, and 13 other cities played host instead to massive protests against the dog meat trade – each one a marker of the changing perceptions of dogs in China and a sign of the growing resistance to the awful killing of these animals for meat.

Protesters brought their dogs with them, carried huge photos of pet dogs and cats with their owners, distributed leaflets calling for an end to the dog meat trade, and displayed the biggest banner of the event, reading “Punish Dog Theft and End Dog Meat Trade.”

A good deal of the credit for this shift goes to Humane Society International and its local partners, which are part of a swelling animal protection movement in the world’s largest nation. Over the past several years, these local partner groups have been on the ground in China, rescuing dogs from trucks carrying stolen dogs and pets to their doom at the dog meat market, talking to governments about changing laws that allow the killing of dogs for meat, protesting against this gruesome trade, and raising awareness internationally. In South Korea, we are making strides in changing attitudes and rescuing dogs farmed for the dog meat market. Over the past few months, dozens of dogs spared from butchery have instead been re-routed to the United States for adoption. They are ambassadors for the hundreds of thousands of dogs caught up in this ugly, unforgiving business. One of these rescued dogs in particular, Snowball, has captured the attention of millions of fans online, drawing more attention to the trade than any human ambassador could.

In China last year, the world’s infamous Yulin “Dog Meat Festival” was thrown off course after protests by Chinese activists, including VShine and other HSI partner groups. Last summer, Chinese activists intercepted 18 trucks moving dogs over great distances to dog meat markets, rescuing the dogs from their awful fate. Activists forced a city in northeast China to suspend its dog slaughter regulation designed to legalize dog slaughter and the dog meat trade. Nationwide condemnation has even caused a dog slaughterhouse to shut down. Very recently, authorities in Yanji, another dog-eating region in China, bowed to pressure from activists and closed two local dog slaughter operations responsible for killing 146,000 dogs each year.

The sentiment against dog eating has been fueled by China’s awakening on animal issues, which in turn has been driven by civil society groups and our instinctive human kinship with other creatures. Dogs are particularly important companions for the nation’s 150 million “singletons” – people born after the government’s compulsory “one-child policy” – and for “empty nest elders” – seniors whose children have left for schools or work in different cities. Today, there are believed to be 130 million pet dogs in China—an average of one dog for every 10 people.

Shuttering the dog meat trade is a moral imperative and a priority for HSI. Our arguments are grounded not just on the obvious humane concerns, but also on the basis of public health. China, for instance, has the world’s second largest number of human rabies cases per year. Most of the dogs slaughtered for food are believed to be stolen household pets, rural guard dogs, and stray dogs, and the mass transport and handling of dogs of unknown origin and background exposes the workers to diseases, including rabies.

The passionate protests in China remind us that opposition to the dog meat trade is not a Western notion. It’s a notion built on the principle of universal values such as decency and kinship. I am so proud of the rank-and-file Chinese who are standing up for what’s right. We’ll be right with them, and not relent until the meat markets are shuttered. What happens to these dogs is barbarism in our modern age, and it must end.

Help HSI fight the dog meat trade »

Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals, Humane Society International

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  1. christine mahan says:

    Thank Goodness this barbarianism is out in the open and thankyou to all the protesters..lets stop this NOW…..

    • amber veeg says:

      Simply wonderful news. Thanks to all the fantastic Chinese activists.
      And the cats, in a similar situation, must not be forgotten.

  2. Linda Copain says:

    Dogs and cats are not food they are family

    • Marcela says:

      And pigs, cows, lambs, goats , bears , deers etc…… They are not here for food…. We need to go vegan to save this planet.


      Thank you to everyone that has been working to stop this barbaric dog meat trade it is evil….we have to stop it now….keep fighting and we WILL STOP THEM….xx

    • Georgia Smith says:

      So grateful for the Humane Society and for all who are helping the dogs in China, but there are some who want you to believe that dogs and cats are the only non-human animals who deserve to be recognized as family. No animal was put on this earth just for us to eat and hopefully all animals will be free from abuse and torture.

  3. Karin says:

    This is really good news to hear, it’s about time someone like you are shutting down this awful gruesome dog trade meat. And I’m glad this is awareness what’s happening in those countries. And it’s not over until we all take a stand to shut them all down. Your on a road of recovery for these animals that need your help and your doing a great job.

  4. Gloria Mantzoros says:

    Thanks to all of the people that us doing the best day and night to save innocent cats and dog , and I sopport and do what ever I can to help these Angels and all the good peaple who risk they’re life for them, and to those evil people who who does such of cruel thing I want them death…all of them, sook to the government DO SOMETHING….

  5. Petra says:

    That’s wonderful news….I’m glad to witness that there is a shift of consciousness in China. However, I never hear of any protests in relation to
    The cat meat market in China and other parts of Asia. Please, let’s not forget to help and save our feline friends as well. It would be nice to see some news and success stories on the cat meat market.

  6. zoe tan says:

    This is the most happy things i heard, china n some asia counties has been well known for torturing animals n dog meat trade should be stop. i m very glad that this people here finally protesting n protect their animals, although i m in singapore, all our singaporean are fully support and kudo you.. thank you

  7. Madhuri says:

    A really good initiative from HSI. Hope this meat trade ends soon. But I would like to mention here one more gruesome festival like holy pig in Taiwan and hope HSI raises their voice over this.

    • Peter Li says:

      Yes, we at Humane Society International know about Taiwan’s “Holy Pig” farming, a practice that is a shame. There is no justification for anyone to force feeding an enslaved pig to the extraordinary weight only to be tethered for a competition for the selfish pride of the owners in a ceremony that has no cultural and moral justification. We’ll work with Taiwan groups to persuade the authorities to end this practice.

  8. Jacki says:

    This is the most fantastic news how these people can eat dog’s and cats never mind about it and thnd the way they kill them is sadistic,cruel,inhumane, well there are no words to describe it really, but i can not believe something wasn’t done sooner,surely the people of China and Korea knew this was going on i watched a programme on tv not long ago and the people going into these restaurants were not poor pheasant folk they were young modern people and to them it was the same as you and i walking into an Indian restaurant to have a curry, it really,really shocked me because i always thought it only went on in the rural poorer places, so don’t tell me the people of China did not know this was going on as i do not believe them.

  9. Star Merlin says:

    I can’t thank them all enough and so much respect to them all ! This actually so touched me I cried .. it’s such a positive move forward .. I hope and pray Chinese people realise they all have Souls just different bodies … and that goes for ALL animals including Tigers, elephants and rhinos .. Thank you HSI I love you all xxxxx

  10. Darlene Eatinvegan says:

    please stop killing these intelligent, kind and friendly animals to use for food. Sad and disgusting, please stop this shameful behavior.

  11. Maysa Curran says:

    What an amazing protest! Amazing because the cause is spectacular! I am an animal lover, and cannot ever understand how someone can be that cruel towards dogs!!?? Dogs are part of millions of families, they are man’s best friend, no dout! I have two dogs and I would do anything to protect them, they are my babies, they trust me, they count on me.
    End this horrible thing! This is evil! This is a disgrace! This is inhuman!

  12. linda Triggs says:

    Thank god some one is actually doing something about this cruel dog trade.
    I can understand if there is a need to eat dog food but treat them humanely and not the barbaric way they are being treated now. Dogs have feelings and emotions just like we do.

  13. iracija da fonseca manes says:

    Chega de covardia com os animais.

  14. SONIA says:

    Je suis triste et désespérée de voir cette ignominie , c’est horrible, insupportable je ne dors pas car je pense à toute cette souffrance je vous en supplie arrêtez ce massacre indigne arriéré ce n’est pas compatible avec le progrès

  15. Goodart says:

    The last boxer rebellion killed over 30,000 foreign white man missionaries, you sure you want a new Boxer rebellion?

  16. LINDA BADHAM says:


  17. karol hickman says:

    Keep fighting non stop until this horrible thing is abolished.

  18. Brian says:

    This has made my year. Thank you so much for all the hard work you do. XX

  19. giovanni pansera says:

    finalmente si stanno muovendo, meglio tardi che mai.

  20. Vera Maia says:

    I know it’s just the begining, but what about all the dogs and cats brutally murdered for their skin? Why only against dog meat trade? Obviuosly hope that extends to all the other animals whose lives are hell in China. But in what concerns dogs think the mouvement should also contemplate dogs butchered for their skin. But yes, If anything comes from this, great change, more concerned about dog meat lovers, those won’t want to stop…

  21. lorry hipwell says:

    I sm so happy about this!!!! Thankyou all who was involved we will win this for dogs!!!

  22. amber veeg says:

    This is wonderful news. Thankyou to all Chinese activists. And also the cats must be saved from this hideous trade.

  23. Celeste says:

    So how come no one is rescuing the cats? Or r they
    ..i see no mention of cat rescues…. why? Is it ok to torture cats?

    • Vaishali Honawar says:

      Hi Celeste, I am blog editor of A Humane Nation. According to Kitty Block, vice-president of Humane Society International, it is true that cats are slaughtered at Yulin, although more dogs are slaughtered by far. HSI is working to stop the slaughter or both cats and dogs and has rescued cats as well.

  24. Jessica says:

    This is awesome!

  25. Sophie Chausse says:

    Congratulations to chinese activists and go on we are supporting you

  26. Jo DeGeorge says:

    The sadistic and barbaric practice of the Yulin Dog Festival is finally out in the open. Humans must learn that all animals are our brethren. There will be no peace if we do not learn this first. Dogs, cows, pigs, fish…all creatures were created by God’s hands.

  27. Lorraine Harrietha says:

    While positive action is being taken in China on the cruel killing of dogs and cats. There is another evil, Human Harvest. The Chinese government is taking organs from live humans to make money.

  28. Maria Irene Argeles says:

    The Chinese government is taking organs from live humans to make money.Keep fighting non stop until this horrible thing is abolished.

  29. Maria Irene Argeles says:

    So how come no one is rescuing the cats? Or r they
    ..i see no mention of cat rescues…. why? Is it ok to torture cats?

    Estos sucesos llegan hasta la Argentina y los amantes de los animales nos sentimos decepcionados por las barbaries que se comenten en China. Este es un país desarrollado? Es un país monstruoso con el cual no se debería tener relaciones internacionales…ni comerciar con ellos…ni exportar…ni importar productos. Yo no consumiré mas productos de este engendro del mal, hasta que no cambien su mentalidad sobre sus actos. El gobierno también debería hacer lo mismo.

  30. Betty says:

    Thank you so much HSUS and HSI for what you are doing to help these dogs…it’s very heartwarming to hear that there is progress being made to help them…it’s still a very barbaric event that some say is still in full swing, but yet it’s so good to know that so many precious dogs and cats have been rescued. Thank you again for all that you do. God bless you.

  31. louise rathkey says:

    I pray this barbaric practice will end soon-plus many other animals are saved from a cruel life globally-Bless you and thankyou for the wonderful work you do fighting for our dear friends xx

  32. Teresa Hoskins says:

    Stop! This is so senseless. Take care of your animals. Don’t torture them please!

  33. Fred says:

    Kudos to the Chinese activists which underlines the fact it doesn’t matter what race or country we belong to … treating animals inhumanely is simply WRONG! They also feel pain and suffering … just like us.

    Let each of us participate in actions which will cause this to stop.

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