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

By on June 19, 2018 with 30 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?

    • Cynthia Bowden says:

      That’s was serial killers do. They are monsters and deserve the same fate. Anyone that can do that to a living isn’t human. It’s not about culture it’s about murders .it makes me sick to my stomach and a government that turns a blind eye and does nothing makes me sick and glad that i am american.

    • Kate says:

      Of course he knows.

  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

    • Kate says:

      God? What’s the role of a god in this? Is there a “purpose” in the suffering of the dogs? Is the purpose to prove people are evil? Will save them? I’m serious.

  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!!!

  12. Colleen Stepisnik says:

    Watching these poor creatures makes my heart hurt I cant stop crying i want so bad to do something to help. But all a can do is pray 🙏🙏please God save these precious souls 😔😔😔

  13. Kmartin says:

    I think the Chinese media should show all the horrific slaughter videos every day and let people see their stolen pets the Chinese police also beat/kill dogs show these videos world wide on TV everyday of the festival 2019

  14. Kmartin says:

    I am so proud for all the international organizations saving lives and making progress on ending the dog meat/fur trades in Asian countries. Bless Marc Ching and so many others for safe shelters and here to adopt…

  15. Melody Craig says:

    Can the government not step in n do something…

  16. Marie Pelfrey says:

    A lot of people turn there head the other way because it hurts to much to see this or talk about this but if someone doesn’t help these animals who will I know it hurts to see these things but we don’t need to stick our head in the sand and sadly when you try to tell people what is going on they don’t want to hear it

  17. Aleasa Smith says:

    I pray to God to help and give all those involved with helping these poor little four-legged babies strength and protection to rescue as many as they can.

    How can anyone Human do something like this to another living being? This is horrible!

  18. Yulianna Chavez says:

    It is absolutely sickening to know we live in a world filled with these monsters. Its inhumane and so damn evil. Its very bad to know that these poor dogs get abused and tortured yearly for this Festival, but we also got to see that they are not the only animals who suffer through this in Asia. Many of the animals that we eat today bought from the store have been tortured in their Farms the same way these poor defenseless dogs are. If anybody knows away that we can contribute to help cease this Festival once and for all please get in contact with me. Whether it be an organization that we can donate to, or help spread the word. I just pray to God that one day this will no longer exist.

  19. Malati saha says:

    Do whatever you can to help the poor animals .may god be with you .

  20. Deb Herbert says:


  21. NOREEN. BAKER says:


  22. Tom S McClaugherty says:

    As an American, I love the gentle devotion of a dog.
    I am also a meat eater. In this country acceptable meats are cattle, which are religious in India, I’m guessing, How do they feel that we slaughter hundreds of thousands of cattle a year.
    Old horse’s are dog food.
    I also eat; chicken, pork, lamb/sheep. Goat’s are also on the menu.
    In high population places, meat farms become scarce. It takes several years to raise a cow, beef, from calf to slaughter. In a high population turn-over is paramount so smaller animals are used. Rabbits, quail, ducks, peacocks, horses among many others
    Such as :dog’s .
    In THIS Country we enjoy dogs. In other countries dogs reach slaughter, guessing, 1-2 years.
    As human beings and Americans, we should not dictate our whims on other countries as to what meat, protein, they consume. Remember the jingle, Pork, the other white meat.
    Dogs are smaller than cattle, probably mature faster and take up less space. Promoters, Salesmen are trying to get a market on this meat source in Another Country, Not America.
    Their butchering is more open to the public and everyone has their camera’s out so yes it looks bad. But they are trying to get a market going for this protein source. In Another Country.

    • C Wells says:

      Tom S. McClaughtery: You are condoning what is happening to these animals? You are saying it is okay to neglect, abuse and torture animals?

  23. Vicki Thornley says:

    Stop this barbaric killing of mans best friend. Anybody participating in this slaughter is not human. Evil. Sick. Very angry and very sad. God be with these animals. Stop this torture.

  24. Monica says:

    SHAME ON THOSE IN CHINA ! The president needs to take these animals out of the killers hands. Thank you humane Society for fighting for these precious victims.

  25. Hannah says:

    These are the main reasons why im done with type of humanity.
    Dogs need a living life.
    Dogs deserve to be happy.
    Dogs started to be with man 30,000 years ago.
    Dogs are NOT food for any dog lover they are pets and provide loyalty to them.
    Dogs eat meat too.

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