HSI Investigation Throws Back Curtain on Yulin Dog Meat Festival

By on April 8, 2016 with 78 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

It was a horrible sight to witness, says Peter Li, China Specialist for Humane Society International. In the infamous slaughterhouses of Yulin, China, groups of dogs huddled in cages, trembling, silent, hyper-alert to their awaited fate. The dogs had been dropped off by trucks coming in from across China, and had been without food and water for days. Some were obviously stolen, still with their collars on, and many had sunken eyes and other signs of illness. From their cages, they could see other dogs being bludgeoned and disemboweled, and hear their cries.

“The dogs and cats were visibly traumatized, their spirits broken from their terrifying ordeal,” Peter told me.

What’s just as shocking is that this canine slaughter happens not only during the city’s annual festival of horrors, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, but year round. This week, in Beijing, HSI launched its 2016 global campaign to end the Yulin dog meat festival, which begins on June 21, with our Chinese partner groups, Beijing’s Capital Welfare Association, Hong Kong SPCA, Ta Foundation, and VShine Animal Protection Association. We’ve also released shocking video and photographic evidence from an investigation conducted by Peter and HSI investigators who recently visited Yulin’s slaughterhouses. The investigation found that as many as 300 dogs are butchered every day in Yulin for their meat. Some of the killing happens within earshot of schools, with the  kids seeing this adult barbarism.

The evidence collected by our team, including a photographer, a veterinarian, and two activists from HSI partner group China Animal Protection Power, confirmed that the ongoing battle to end the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, while not without hope, is fraught with challenges.

Many within China oppose the consumption of dog meat and see dogs and cats as companions, not food. A number of years ago, the leaders of Weixian, a rural county in Hebei province, took the unprecedented step of banning dog meat. But in some parts of the country, like Yulin, the practice continues, and 10 to 20 million dogs are slaughtered each year for their meat.

In Yulin, our investigators entered two of the four slaughter operations, two dog meat restaurants, and three dog meat markets. They witnessed indescribable cruelty toward dogs – and cats — that will only grow larger in scale as the festival draws closer.

Peter described witnessing the unloading of cats from a newly arrived truck one morning in Yulin. One crate was packed with exhausted cats and a dead kitten, born prematurely, was lying outside the crate. An adult cat inside the crate tried repeatedly but in vain to reach for the dead kitten, Peter recalled.

HSI’s work in China to end the slaughter, which began in 2013, has multiple tentacles: rescuing dogs from the live meat markets; assisting local activists who provide rescue and care for the dogs; initiating campaigns, petitions, and coalition letters to end the festival and the culture of eating dog meat; bringing global media attention to this cruel practice; and meeting with Chinese officials to broker an end to the festival that has brought the nation nothing but international shame and condemnation.

In our discussions with authorities, we have also attempted to draw attention to the impact of the dog slaughter on human health, confirmed by the World Health Organization. China has the second highest number of human rabies cases in the world and, not coincidentally, the Guangxi Autonomous Region, where Yulin is located, and the city of Yulin, have China’s highest incidence of rabies. Mass transport, handling, and slaughter expose workers in the dog meat trade, who are mostly unvaccinated, to the deadly disease.

There are many compelling reasons to end the Yulin dog meat festival, and we will not stop until the job is done. I hope you will join HSI and hundreds of thousands of advocates by signing this petition to the Chinese authorities, asking for an end to this festival of horrors.

Companion Animals, Humane Society International

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  1. Anastasia Hopkinson says:




    • Theresa says:

      Why should any animal suffer in vain? They should take the idiots and do exactly to them what they are doing to these helpless defenseless animals. People.in China a freaking whacky. Jesus

  2. marie baker says:

    This needs to be stopped immediately. Sanctions, boycotts whatever it takes.

    • Ryan Kinsella-Harmon says:

      I agree. Whatever it takes. We need to send our troops in and shut it down if we have to. We need to take action NOw!

  3. Liliana castillo says:

    Yulin it’s the worst festival in the world. Heartless

    • Donna says:

      Not a festival!!!!! A massacre!!!! How can this be called a festival Don’t buy anything made in China until this is stopped

  4. Peggy ellison says:

    This is a horrible situation for these dogs.Barbarians.

  5. Doris Muller says:

    My heart goes out to those who make it their life’s work to investigate and expose these evil horrors. I cannot read about these atrocities without tearing up and slumping into a slight depression. It is so discouraging to know, in this day and age, how horrible and evil a significant percentage of the human population remains. It’s scary to know that some humans can participate in this level of barbaristic cruelty and not feel a pang of compassion for the victims.

    • Terri says:

      I so agree with this statememt. Now we know. We must save these precious animals. The abuse they andure is beyond comprehension. Only bullies with no self worth could inflict this kind of trauma on defenseless animals.
      love is a verb.It means need to do something.


    Stop this!!!

  7. Sandra says:

    Animals are treasures, humans are criminals.

  8. Pernille larsen says:

    This has to stop now ???

  9. Debra Stanton says:

    Yulin Must END Forever & NOW..,
    We need Leaders of Nations around the World to impose economic Sanctions on China, Korea, Thailand , in order to Ban Dog Meat!
    Please work with top level Politicians to stand up for Animal Rights … This is a Holicaust of Dogs & Terrorism of innocent Dogs & Terrorism of all Dog Lovers around the World!
    I have MS & this torture & killings of Dogs have seriously made me very sick… I cannot sleep at all knowing Dogs are being severely tortured!!

    • Maricor says:


    • Pamela Semies says:

      Pam Semies pamelasemies@comcast.net Dear Debra, I too have relived this horrible issue but realize that there are organizations like HSI and HSUS aggressively working to eliminate the Domestic Animal Meat Market. I believe in the power of prayer and that is the best you can offer at this time. You need to let go and let God. While you sleep, He is keeping a watchful eye and we know that through Him, all things are possible.Rabies seems to be prevailing and may be the very reason for the people involved in the Meat Market to abandon it. Every once in a while I get overwhelmed by the evil going on in this world but am lucky to have a friend to remind me of the Serenity Prayer…you may know it. It goes: God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change…Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.. We do need a compassionate and strong leader who is not afraid to ask these countries to stop using domestic animals for food making them aware that they could create a Rabies epidemic Now…let’s all pray! Your Friend Pam in Maryland

  10. carla renders says:

    it’s a long way to go,but whe NEVER GIVE UP,NEVER til the EVIL is death.

  11. doris says:

    Me up by the my family their I beg you to stop these crimes take Especially in China, Saudi Arabia and Canada and the Philippines silent animals with the worst manner to kill Animals that do not have the power of defend itself I swear to god, I die when I see some of these films How present would it be that people with these terrible practices So innocent animals but they take with the utmost brutality I think you have to learn in one day Innocent animals that have died in the worst throbbing It’s time to peel and pulp by a bunch of evil without conscience Name and God called you to do whatever you can to save humanity. And the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals do beg beg For the rights of animals whatever they do is low Very cruelty to animals by humans For God’s sake, do something

  12. ANNA AREBALO says:


  13. Annelie says:

    I just hate it Stop eating dogs its not normal??

  14. Philip carline says:

    This has to be one of the mos sickening sights I’ve seen to date yulin and the barbaric treatment of dogs I has to be outlawed and policed to iradicate this horror

  15. candy rhounan says:


  16. olga alvarez says:


  17. chris maes says:


  18. marta says:

    je to odporne,co musia prezit tie psy…iba bastardi…psychopati dokazu taketo priserne skutky…treba s tym skoncovat…..aj psy maju dusu…maju pravo na zivot…

  19. Patricia a Baker says:

    This must be stopped!!!

  20. tina moomaw says:

    stop killing dogs and cats not what I wanted to say but what I said first wont be posted because they are as bad as the ones killing

  21. Gail Runnels says:

    This killing goes against everything I have ever been told abut China. I was told that dog meat was no longer consumed by the Chinese.
    Please do everything you can to stop this barbaric killing of dogs and cats.

  22. Debbie Knowles says:

    Please stop this terrible abuse. These animals need to be loved and cared for. We can’t stop until there is no more of these inhumane acts against animals.

  23. ryan says:

    God bless those who are trying to stop this. This is disgusting.

  24. Walter Wilson says:

    I applaud the efforts of all the HSI representatives involved in the investigation in Yulin. I acknowledge, knowing China as I do, that all involved in the investigation put themselves at risk to prevent horrible suffering to animals. I am discouraged by the attitude of the mainland Chinese Government authorities. My online writings about the barbaric and inhumane treatment of dogs in China have been deleted in minutes. I am not discouraged. I will fight on. I realize that things in China move slowly but the ROC (Taiwan) passed legislation in 1988 banning the killing of dogs! Wake up PRC (People’s Republic of China). Come on it’s 2016!!!!

  25. Rhonda marcure says:

    End this killing!

  26. Minna Salonen says:

    I just want to express my appreciation of the work you´re doing to tackle the dog/cat meat trade.
    I signed the petition,and would like you to join me in supporting this issue:

  27. Ityel Biletzky says:

    This has to be forced to stop,boycot China,Vietnam,Indonesia,Phillipines,Thailand(Siam) ,and be an activist and a recruiter!,for the cause!

  28. Ityel Biletzky says:

    Also educate the public of these(those) Countries about the viruses that come with such meals,that’ll cause them to acquire a chronic debilitation uncured diseases as the result.(the Dogs?cats are immune to some of those virus colonies, bur not humans).

  29. Della Lurusso says:

    Please stop this cruelty

  30. Marilyn Graziano says:

    Difficult to know where to start commenting on this issue!Just the idea makes me ill ! This practice is ILLEGAL yet the Chinese and S.Koreans carry on as though what they are doing is perfectly normal!! They won’t understand that dogs and cats are not FOOD they are pets! Then the Agonizing sufference these poor innocent animals have to go through is heartbreaking! Mankind turning his back on his friends!! humans could not do anything worse than this! i would like to thank all those wonderful activists and heroes who save hundreds of animals from this torture.Even although they work so hard it is never enough!! This so called “Festival” must end the pressure must be kept on constantly.The farms must be emptied of innocent creatures until these damnable,loathsome individuals stop slaughtering innocent friends.

  31. Lilia Saito says:

    Banir matar cães

  32. Rosalind Forshaw says:

    We must all support the speedy end of this unspeakable horrific slaughter of our animal friends at the hands of these people. It is an abomination, a crime against nature and a slur on humanity and the planet. We call on governments of China and other countries who turn a blind eye to such suffering, to take a proactive approach to make laws to put an end to the killing of dog and cats for meat and clothing, and profit, for good! Only then perhaps they will begin to earn the respect of the rest of the world. Until this happens we continue to look to them with disgust and revulsion, for a crime so vile it is difficult to believe such evil is condoned in the modern world.

  33. naomi cohen says:

    this ‘festival’ is shameful and horrific. how cruel can people be?
    this is no festival, it is a bloody massacre, and it cannot go on, EVER!

  34. Jen muileboom says:

    Please stop the torture of these dogs and cats

  35. Jen muileboom says:

    Please stop the torture of these dogs and cats ‘in this day and age it should not being happening

  36. Sharon McAllister says:

    It is a horrible, disgusting, inhumane way to treat dogs who give so much to the betterment of our society. Shame on you who do such violent acts and have no remorse or moral compass to direct you away from this.

  37. Lilia Saito says:

    Banir Stop cruelty

  38. Hazel Grant says:

    Please end the awful suffering of these animals destinned for the table.the slaughter of the said animals is such that no animal should witness.china is both brutal and barbaric.the animals often are loved family pets stolen from loving homes.this is criminal

  39. Sasha Kemble says:


  40. Karen Frauman says:

    How can anyone kill dogs and cats to eat! That is so inhumane.

  41. marion price says:

    The very thought of this event has me in tears. Please, please keep working to stop this..please. I will sign any number of petitions and donate what I can. Please keep me informed. Thankyou m price

  42. marion price says:

    I implore you dear China,
    Please take a walk with me,
    Let me lead you into my world,
    To see what I can see.
    A dog is an angel,
    Sent from heaven above,
    He will give to you his friendship,
    He will give you all his love.
    Look deeply into his eyes,
    Feel his beating heart,
    He is as human as you are,
    Save for his fur and bark.
    His soul is very pure,
    He feels terror..he feels pain,
    So, I implore you dear China,
    Look,see …..and look again.
    Please try to see what I see,
    Dont cause him any pain,
    Please stop the Yulin massacare,
    Become….human…once again.
    From Marion price…written in tears.

  43. Matt Plumley says:

    This is sickening but stop eating your steaks and chicken and we will be making some headway to ending the animal holocaust.


  44. Roya M says:

    As a vegan, any animal suffering saddens me. Years ago, my mother who is not much of an animal lover, took a trip to China. She said she hardly saw pigeons, crows, or any bird flying or perched. She asked the tour guide about this. He laughed and his response is quite telling: “with the exception of tables and chairs, we eat anything with arms and legs!” She also saw the horrors of their markets. Cats, dogs, rats…exotic animals. For my mother who never allowed us to have pets, this was very disturbing. She regretted making that trip, and since then, she can’t stand anything about China! China, and all of S.E. Asia are merciless towards animals. It’s one thing to want to eat dogs or cats, but it’s another when they torch, boil, stump, beat, electrocute them alive in front of other dogs and cats in the cage ~ because the adrenaline rush makes the meat taste better. Some humans are such monsters that for their disgusting gut, they have no problem making an innocent animal suffer! Of course Japan ain’t all that better! We all know about the slaughter of whales and dolphins, and we know how they love their sushi that they have no problem putting a a live frog or octopus in their mouth. At this rate, I fear that human meat might show up on the menu!

  45. Denni A says:

    to everyone complaining contact the Chinese Embassy in DC. let them know in a polite, respectful manner you will not be spending TOURIST $$$$$ in China anytime soon. tell your friends & family to do the same. the only thing these people understand is $$$$$$$. use your consumer power to stop this barbaric atrocity, same with Japan, stop buying their cars and trucks and you see how fast they stop WHALING and Taji Dolphin slaughter.

  46. Janika Korhonen says:

    This is terrible 🙁

  47. Anne Grice says:

    This despicable barbarism to dogs and cats is inconsistent with a modern civilisation which should be guided by animal protection laws to change from the dark ages practices and culture to a civilised humane civilisation ! But China and the other SE Asian nations have failed to make this transformation dragging the most spine chilling confronting unimaginable tortuous killing of dogs and cats for misguided belief into a modern era. This is wrong on every level of humanity and must be condemned by the higher offices including the UN! These countries cannot expect to trade and interact with the world whilst this horror to innocent animals continue everyday on their streets! This has to stop!

  48. Judy Wentzel says:

    Please Stop. Please

  49. Tutta Salonen says:

    Just cannot understand how this is possible? The rest of the world should take comment, asap.

  50. Maria says:

    Thank you for all your efforts in saving lives in Yulin and trying to stop the barbaric nature of this culture. A higher awareness is needed we are living in modern times and it’s time for 3rd world countries to make changes in preserving this animals and utilizing them in more constructive ways. Surely this nation can become healthier in choosing fish or poultry as we do….it has to end.

  51. Jill Darrah says:

    This is more agregious than can be imagined. SANCTION China & So Korea, anywhere this is practiced. My heart bleeds for these defenseless loving animals.

  52. Dina Zaromatidis says:

    I pray everyday that this despicable treatment of these poor innocent animals finally ends!!! Such horrific suffering!!! So cruel!! Stop these EVIL monsters!!! It has to STOP NOW!!!!

  53. Elizabeth Christakis says:

    The only comfort in all of this is that there are so many people who care, thats how it starts. Please let this horrible abuse and betrayal of dogs and cats end.

  54. liz gaudenzi says:

    It’s hard to believe that human beings are capable of this insane cruelty. To even think of torturing innocent cats and dogs and to not feel complete disgust by these acts is unbelievable!!!…..complete evil, no soul.

  55. Paul Atwal says:

    This is evil incarnate, a shame on humanity for permitting this to go on.

  56. zillybears says:

    I don’t understand how and why the groups of civilians, activists, protestors and under covers can just watch, take video/photo of the butchering for evidence but do not physically release the animals in front of these demented people, how could anyone go there and just let it happen and take video of this action? The Chinese Govt does not care and does not want it to stop, China wants money any way they can make it. We have to physically grab these animals from them. I get doing this “lawfully”, but China has no law for anything but themselves. How many more animals have to suffer year after year until activists start actually taking action. 171 saved out of trillions of animals over the years? If it was’t for Americans this wouldn’t even be presented to the world.
    It’s disgusting, at least America has some sort of animal cruelty laws and its not culturally accepted either. Its just never going to stop and that is how Asian countries want it. Push these people down, steal their truck and beat them, because that is exactly what they do to animals.

  57. Denise Thomas Harrell says:

    Is there any hope that it will be stopped this year?

    I thought I read somewhere that, Governor Jerry Brown has some influence with people in the government in China to help stop this, is that correct?

    Also, when you do rescue some dogs, do you take them to a place in China, or do they come over to the United States?

    Please let me know.

    Thank you, Denise

  58. Denise Thomas Harrell says:

    Is there any hope that it will be stopped this year?

    I thought I read somewhere that, Governor Jerry Brown has some influence with people in the government in China to help stop this, is that correct?

    Also, when you do rescue some dogs, do you take them to a place in China, or do they come over to the United States?

    Please let me know.

    Thank you, Denise

  59. Stanley Bornstein says:

    Let’s hope this cruel and inhumane practice can be stopped.

  60. Chrissy says:

    It would seem logical to have a group to advertise with posters and video in the city of people affected by rabies. Where there is a lack of human empathy, selfish motivation may be the largest motivation to stop this. They need to see what the sickness can do to them. Also, supplies of alternative food and education regarding food may help. Rabbits, things like that with education on humane slaughter that ties in with health may appeal. They are driven by greed and selfishness, replace that drive with a alternative that appeals to that. Unfortunately, this may be the only way to stop it.

  61. Artem says:

    That what it is takes place every year in the city of Yulin, it is not tradition of food – this is a tradition of sadism. They enjoy it. They are an example of antihumanism. It’s just a cynical massacre. On Earth too much of suffering. Against of such people is suitable only bacteriological weapons. They do not heed the words and entreaties.

  62. Artem says:

    That what it is takes place every year in the city of Yulin, it is not tradition of food – this is a tradition of sadism. They enjoy it. They are an example of antihumanism. It’s just a cynical massacre. On Earth too much of suffering. Against of such people is suitable only bacteriological weapons. They do not heed the words and entreaties. Stop sadism.

  63. Artem Matiashvili says:

    breed and eat dogs this is horrible.

  64. Carol Worgan says:


  65. Jill M says:

    This is so disgusting and horrible!
    I wish there was a way to reason with these people but unfortunately they have these ridiculous beliefs that dog meat helps with the summer heat, causes virility etc. They also believe that the more an animal suffers the better the meat will taste. So they burn them alive boil them alive beat them all in front of other animals who have to watch knowing that they are next.
    I don’t think a lot of these people can be reasoned with and I truly hope that all of these sadistic torturers die from rabies or some other diseases before they pass their Barbaric traditions to their children. The only hope seems to be that more and more young people in China are against eating dog and cat.
    The people stealing pets need to be punished as well. I can honestly say I will never go to China and will never buy products from China ever again either. I really hope this horrible “tradition” can be stopped! God please help these innocent animals! And thank you to the groups working so hard to try and save them!

    • Donna says:

      Yes , thanks for any of the pets that were saved and l feel so terrible for the ones that endured more pain that any person could endure just for the sake of some crazy idea that they will feel better, they should beat themselves and that will make them feel better. This is such an outrage that it should be a violation against animal rights, how crazy that thus goes on, he government can stop this if they wanted to but they don’t, I cannot stand to think about the pain that these animals went through, the puppies and kittens bring dragged to their deaths , and these barbarians think nothing of it and smile and eat like they deserve to eat something so beautiful , they need torture fir the rest of their filthy lives, may they live a terrible short life, no one would care , make more room for beautiful people, get rid of the vial barbarians that need to be gone

  66. Sydney Glynn says:

    Why wont the government not just BAN the sale of dog meat?
    Make it illegal ? Does the government agree with what’s happening?
    Why all the conversation over an issue that is clearly horrifying! Its a massacre of extreme cruelty. I cant eat, sleep or even think straight. This is not Chinese culture! Its the practice of uneducated MURDERING savages.
    the humane society cant watch this happen any longer. The masses are crying out STOP STOP STOP

  67. Donna says:

    I totally agree, I would love to see one of those barbarians get dragged in the street, put in rotten crates with other barbarians like themselves, no water, no food kept that way until they reach a more horrible place (if that’s even possible) and get hit over the head with a metal pole, burned alive boiled alive, skinned alive , throats cut, my god this is a horror show!!!! How can countries allow this torture to happen . This is so evil that we have no business doing anything with them. It is beyond sickening it are they not embarrassed for what they allow these stupid selfless people to do for there personal enjoyment, get rid of them all. Earth has no place for evil creeps like them

  68. Pem says:

    These are some of the unforgettable atrocities ever in the history of mankind and the culprit is no other than the current communist China, led by the corrupt, immoral, deceitful, dishonest, bossy and insane group of person, who are hardliners to the very core of their being.

  69. Shirl Linda says:

    In memory of all the slaughtered, murdered, tortured dogs/cats of the dog/cat meat trade, let’s also come together in strike against USA restaurants named as the Lazy Dog or named after a Cat or Dog species, to show our relations that America is against the Dog/Cat meat trade. Such places of food service, or purchasing of foods, should never utilize an animals classification, or kind of species, even if they are against the Dog/Cat meat trade.

  70. Uan Sam says:

    We need the civilized world attention to this evil act has to stop NOW. We need to sign petition and deliver it to the Chinese, Korean, Vietnam embassies around the world. We need to put pressure and urge our gov’t stop trade and boycott

  71. Sharon says:

    Sick Barbarians – and they wonder why people don’t want to travel to or support the Chinese people. I’ve sent donations to the Humane Society i am sickened by their behavior – they are inhumane – one of the only countries who slaughtered their own children at birth – i have stopped purchasing any products manufactured in China, check every label and research when products originate from. I’d rather give organizations like the Humane Society the funds to work towards stopping this atrocity.

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