Ahead of Yulin, video documents horrors of a dog slaughterhouse; 135 dogs rescued from death

By on June 19, 2018 with 11 Comments

The footage is blood-curdling. Dogs huddle together in a small, dark, filthy room, a slaughterhouse, their eyes wide with fear. On the floor are traces of fresh blood from dogs killed that same morning. A man clubs a dog repeatedly over the head to kill him, as the animal howls in pain.

These harrowing scenes were recorded inside a slaughterhouse in Yulin, the Chinese city now infamous for hosting one of the worst events ever: an annual dog meat festival. This year’s festival is just a couple of days away, and Humane Society International is focusing the world’s attention on this horrifying spectacle once again.

Besides the footage of the dogs, activists documented the paraphernalia of slaughter, including knives and a machine used to remove hair from the dogs, as well as footage of dead dogs being blowtorched to brown their skin for sale at the Yulin market. “What I saw will haunt me,” said Allen, one of the activists. “I have never seen dogs so scared… they were terrified because they had seen the killing of probably 50 dogs that morning…and all of them were emaciated due to food and water deprivation.”

This week, Chinese activists with whom HSI has worked for many years, along with two other groups, secured the release of 135 dogs from three slaughter facilities in the Yulin suburbs. The dogs rescued are mostly smaller breeds. What touched their rescuers is how, despite their harrowing experience, they were still very friendly and eager for a kind human touch. Many of the rescued animals, like many of the dogs in Yulin’s slaughterhouses, have likely been pet dogs. Like others, they too had made a days-long journey to Yulin without food and water. Many were emaciated and some were very ill. Among the animals were three pregnant dogs who delivered puppies soon after the rescue.

HSI has been fighting the dog meat trade in China for more than a decade and Yulin has been a particular focus since the event began in 2010. By focusing media attention on the event, stopping trucks carrying dogs, and holding discussions with authorities, we have helped bring down the number of dogs killed from 15,000 dogs during the festival days to between 3,000 and 5,000 dogs now. The festival has not just reduced in size, but in spirit too. In the early years, you could see nightly feasting in the streets outside dog meat restaurants, but such a sight is rarely seen anymore and most restaurants have removed overt signs of dog meat from their displays and menus. The position of authorities in Yulin has also changed, from touting the event as a tourist attraction, to denying it exists at all, to making tentative moves in recent years to tighten the net on the trade in the city despite fierce pushback from dog traders.

This year, we are attacking this event on several fronts. Besides releasing the video and rescuing dogs, HSI’s partner groups have extended an invitation for Yulin authorities to discuss ways to legally implement deterrents to the trade and end the festival that has only brought shame to the otherwise thriving city. This week, HSI and Chinese and international animal campaigners in Beijing submitted a letter with more than 235,000 signatures to Lu Xinshe, Communist Party Secretary of Guangxi. Organised by HSI and Care2 and supported by 87 Chinese animal protection groups, including Capital Animal Welfare Association, Zhejiang Animal Protection Association, and Hainan Small Animal Protection Association, the letter calls upon the party secretary to implement a range of measures to crack down on the gruesome event, including road blocks to prevent illegal dog trucks from entering Yulin, imposing heavy fines, and confiscating animals and placing them in the care of activists.

Meanwhile, the dogs rescued by our partners were all taken immediately to a temporary shelter to receive food, water and emergency care. They are now being transported to three permanent shelters in other parts of China where they will receive high-quality veterinary care. Sixty-five of the dogs will be cared for at an HSI-supported shelter in North China.

These dogs escaped a horrible end, but thousands more dogs and cats caught up in China’s meat trade still need help. Even one animal killed in this way is one too many. With the release of this video, we hope that more of you will join us in condemning this gruesome event as we keep up the pressure to end it once and for all.

Companion Animals, Humane Society International

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  1. Pam Boule says:

    Thank God for the Humane Society! ! What kind of human being could do this to man’s best friend? I am sitting here crying,wishing I could bring them all home!!

  2. Brian says:

    Has the president of China been made aware of this horror? Maybe he could totally ban the ivory business and this disgusting, demonic Yulin ugliness with a snap of his fingers. Some of what we call human nature really sucks, doesn’t it?

  3. Katie Cather says:

    Beyond sad, sickening and maddening. Thanks, HSI, for saving some.

  4. Stephanie Santarsiero says:

    What about larger dogs? They are in the greatest peril because they have more meat and are less adoptable even though large breeds are the sweetest kindest of all dogs

  5. Debbie Kernes says:

    I watched the video and just hearing those 🐕 Yelp and so freaking out.
    I pray that those people could find other things to do at a festival like plants dancing and maybe seafood to eat and rice noodles.
    I feel there pain and it’s horrible to witness.
    But thank you for helping all that you can. A giant hug for you all and those innocent animals.

  6. E.goodman says:

    I think this culture should be publicly, loudly, heaped with shame.
    They need to be called barbaric, made to feel toonshamed to hold up their
    rotten heads.

  7. Anne Waterhouse says:

    I barely saw the first part of this video..the savagery of what that evil doer did to that poor dog. I had to turn it off after the first strike. The sound of painful cries from that poor defenseless dog. I am still shaking. This has nothing to do with a ‘festival’. That was someone intent on making that poor dog suffer and continued to abuse the dog causing more intense pain and suffering until the poor little creature died.. Proof that hell does exist on earth and defenseless animals like these are the target of criminals who are legally allowed to commit unthinkable illegal vicious acts such as this. Disgusting and inhumane. What can be done???

  8. Sly Orca says:

    Stop à vos HORREURS 😠😠😠

  9. Teresa Colon says:

    Thanks god. You are angels. I am support this petition. God bless

  10. Jackie Smith says:

    I have watched this footage but with the sound down it took me a lot to watch it, however I did thanks to the wonderful people who are helping these poor dogs they do seem to know human kindness with there wagging tiles despite the horror they go through, I can’t get my head around the fact that these monsters have no compassion at all, no feeling, what are they, no decent human being would do this Not human for sure. What happens to these dogs once they are rescued now?

  11. Richard Duncan says:

    It’s an absolute disgrace that these filthy Chinese people are still eating dogs. Dogs are pets and should be loved and cuddled, this tradition has got to stop, in the name of all that’s holy!!!

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