Yulin dog meat festival to begin this weekend, defying Chinese declaration that dogs are pets not food

By on June 19, 2020 with 72 Comments

Once again, we are seeing heartbreaking visuals from Yulin, China, in the run-up to the annual dog meat “festival” there this Sunday. A video recorded by Humane Society International’s partners on the ground shows rows and rows of dog carcasses lying on tables or being butchered with cleavers, all in defiance of a Chinese Ministry of Agriculture statement last month that dogs are not meant for human consumption.

Also in the video you’ll see puppies, who were on offer for slaughter and sale at a market just outside Yulin, being rescued by Chinese animal activists. The activists, upon seeing the 10 puppies, questioned the stall holder about how the animals had been acquired, and he agreed to let the activists take them. The dogs are now being cared for at our partner shelter.

“I couldn’t believe that anyone would even want to eat these adorable little darlings,” said one of the activists, Jennifer Chen, who can be seen lifting a puppy from the cage in the video. “My hands were trembling…he kept licking my hands, and unbeknown to him I could easily have been a dog meat eater.”

China has made progress in recent months toward ending the dog meat trade, most significantly by confirming earlier this month that dogs are considered pets and not meat. While this is not in itself a ban on the trade, two cities—Shenzhen and Zhuhai—have banned the consumption of dog and cat meat.

Promisingly, in Yulin, too, there appears to be less activity this year than usual. With the resurgence of the coronavirus in Beijing and continuing travel restrictions throughout the country, dog meat restaurants and markets in Yulin are quieter. Trade overall is also sluggish, as traders told activists, because the government is cracking down on animal transport between provinces. This makes it harder for the traders to acquire live dogs from outside the Guangxi province as they did in past years, when large numbers of dogs were transported in trucks, spending days without food and water.

While in past years dog meat was sold at stores around the city, a majority of such sales have now been consolidated into one central area called Nanchao market on the outskirts of Yulin. The notorious Dongkou market, once the epicenter of dog meat sales and the slaughter of live dogs, has much fewer vendors than it did in past years. Dr Peter Li, HSI’s China policy specialist, believes this could be because authorities may want to keep a closer eye on all the dog meat trade activity by centralizing it.

As our partner group activists found out over three separate trips to Yulin in the last 12 weeks, dog meat consumption among the city’s residents has also dropped. They heard from people like Xiao Shu, a young store owner who lives in Yulin with her three dogs and 10 cats, and, like most young Chinese, would not dream of eating dog meat.

While all this is encouraging, even one dog killed for this trade is one too many. We stand with Chinese animal activists who are urging local authorities in Yulin to embrace the national government’s declaration that dogs are companions not food, by halting the dog meat festival and the year-round dog and cat meat trade there. The world’s eye, once again, is focused on China as this gruesome event unfolds, this time even more closely because of the coronavirus pandemic and its link to crowded markets where animals are slaughtered for food. Most people in China do not eat dog and cat meat, and there is no tolerance left there—or in the rest of the world—for such abject cruelty.

Help fight the dog meat trade

Companion Animals, Humane Society International

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    No podemos permitir que esto se siga realizando por culpa de los chinos estamos en esta situación y tenemos que aprender a valor la vida de los animalitos

  2. Louise phillips says:

    Why is it still allowed especially with covid. All meat needs to be banned

  3. Carlos Quero Valdés says:

    La declaración del ministerio de Agricultura que nos dio la esperanza de que al fin este horrible comercio terminaría no puede ser simplemente una declaración de buenas intenciones o una simple invitación, debe ser una prohibición acompañada de un marco legal y jurídico que la valide y sea un mandato legal sólido que ponga fin a este cruel comercio, que no engañen al mundo diciendo una cosa si en la práctica se hará otra, basta de mentiras, cumplan lo que dicen, eso es lo que el mundo espera.

  4. Sharon Kagan says:

    This is the most horrific and disgusting practice iof your country. It makes your people subhuman and very much disrespected by the world.

    • Gary says:

      You are so right ,it’s an autroious practice and should be outlawed WORLD wide,!!!discusting,foul,subhuman practic e eating dogs,they were put on this earth to help mankind but not,not as a food source!!! Sick sick sick!!!!!!!

    • Breeze says:


  5. Mihai Butnaru says:

    Stop macelul.

  6. Jóhanna Þorgerður Eyþórsdóttir says:

    This is HORRIBLE and DISGUSTING. What kind of people do such cruel and horrendous act of cruelty???? It’s beyond my understanding. THIS HAS TO STOP RIGHT NOW 🤬🤬🤬The world sees this and look at Chinese and Asians as people who brutally abuse these animals and say it’s TRADITIONAL 🤬🤬🤬 YOU CAN NOT JUSTYFY THIS WITH THAT. YOU CAN’T JUSTIFY IT WITH ANYTHING, NEVER, EVER. JÓHANNA from Reykjavík (the Capital City of Iceland) in Iceland in Europe 🇮🇸

    • Karen Kenngott says:

      Well said, Jóhanna!!! Perhaps with enough worldly condemnation this is the last year of this unjustifiable, utterly barbaric, and insanely illogical human behavior!

    • Aki - Chan says:

      Jóhanna, you are so right. It should stop, how could you even look at these cute little creatures and eat them? Humanity is sometimes DISGUSTING.

  7. Nataliebarker says:

    Stop this barbaric torture
    Boycot China

  8. Jane says:

    This is unbearable. Every day this torture and barbarism Is happening, I can’t stop thinking of those poor innocent babies being tortured and slaughtered in this way. This is not a festival. It’s an excuse for Chinese psychopaths to get their yearly kicks!! Please STOP. This is NOT NORMAL!!

  9. Irene Humphries says:

    This needs to stop. Dogs 🐕 and cats are pets not meat trayed this is wrong and disgusting….

  10. Gillian Evans says:

    Disgusting & inhumane in every way.

  11. Anthony kenny says:

    Please stop killing these beautiful animals, its just horrible for them and its against the law now.

  12. Annette Wessberg says:

    Save the animal !!!!!

  13. Lorraine Stephens says:

    Absolutely cruelty these are pets for gods sake this should be stopped. Lowest of the low inhumane. Some sickand Evil humans in some countries.PLEASE STOP THIS HORRENDOUS SELLING OF INNOCENT ANIMALS. 😡😡

  14. Margit Hetzendorfer says:

    Diese Grausamkeite muss ein Ende haben.

  15. Celine Moore says:

    This is sick and needs to stop. I am disgusted that they still doing that and they need to be punished for it

  16. Marc Kohlhoff says:


    With the help of all the citizens and Foundation of different countries, I wish to give weight of my petition , to stop this massacre of dogs and cats in Asia .

    Every year in Asia , they capture dogs and cats in order to eat them.
    We have to stop this and bring the maximum weight and then send it to all Asian Embassy , please i say it again , do not do business with Aisia anymore , if you want to help does poor animals ,
    If we do nothing it will continue , and animals will be slaughtered again ,
    I need all of you, and your sharing and your support.

    The dogs and cats count on you , it’s time to stop this evil slaughtering now , they need your help urgently , because the years go by , and nothing is done.

    Thank you in advance for them!

  17. Rescue Rhonda says:

    It’s great that dogs have many people advocating for them! My wish is that we stop enslaving, torturing, abusing, and murdering all animals – cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, etc. We have to stop the violence towards all living beings.

  18. David Mckenzie says:

    Until the Chinese goverment cracks down hard on this so called festival it will persist in murdering innocent dogs and cats , and ignore any statement that dogs and cats are not to be used sa food , china is already under scrutiny by most of the cvivilized world because of covid 19 so the government needs to clean up and stop this disgraceful action

    • Jenny says:

      I was waiting for someone to say this. Thank you. One could ask ‘What makes a dog and cat’s life more precious than that of a cow and chicken’s?’ My heart and mind have been opened this year in learning that humans, animals and the planet all thrive when humans consume whole foods plant-based nutrition. Nutritionfacts.org and foodrevolution.org have been educational and eye opening. The power is in our hands. Stay healthy everyone.❤️🌏

      • Nora Allen says:

        They’re not dying with prolonged suffering. With celebrations of a festival, it’s quick and swift , this is completely opposite, more pain and suffering the better tasting the meat so they believe !

  19. Joanne mainiero says:

    china has to.step.up and stop.it right in the tracks.. this bogus bogus claim so far IS SAME OLD SAME OLD CHINA=BOGUS BOGUS AND MUCH MORE BOGUS..

  20. Joanne mainiero says:

    china has to.step.up and stop.it right on the tracks.. this bogus bogus claim so far IS SAME OLD SAME OLD CHINA=BOGUS BOGUS AND MUCH MORE BOGUS..

  21. Roxana says:

    Sick cruelty and evil 😭🙏🏻

  22. Melanie Aliga says:

    Pls stop animal cruelty

  23. Nancy says:

    This is so wrong and needs to be banned

  24. Daisy says:

    I hate this shit

  25. Claudia Esten says:

    Keep your promises and Please stop 🛑 Stop 🛑 the abuse

  26. Nichole M Gibson says:

    How can people do that to an innocent animal what is wrong with you people?

  27. Sara Wilken says:

    I have two dogs that I love more than anything or anyone in the world. I have a dog boarding and daycare business. I am surrounding by dogs all day everyday.
    Yes, what they do at Yulin is horrific. It haunts my soul to think how anyone can be capable of doing this.
    However, I would also like to speak on behalf of the more than 3 billion other animals, not as fortunate as dogs, that are also intelligent, loving, sentient beings that deserve a life free of cruelty, abuse and murder.
    Do you eat meat?

  28. Susan says:

    This must be stopped. Surely the Chinese authorities know about this.

  29. John Farnan says:

    We are a failed species if we cannot see the utter moral corruption of condoning torture and death done to any species, for any rationalization. The CCP which permits this sadism operates in an ethical vacuum. They have no shame, no guilt, no sense of empathy for life in allowing this atrocity to continue.

  30. Patricia Crager says:

    This is in human please stop the killing of these helpless animals!

  31. Amanda says:


  32. Marianne says:

    Don’t they have cops there?? They should enforce the law,do their jobs!!!😡😡😡🥰😡

  33. Mandy says:

    This virus that is sweeping the world right now and killing millions of people, it coming from your country you should be ashamed of yourselves as you continue to spread diseases by killing and eating these poor souls there should be laws to protect these animals from being killed and stolen from thier families, your country will suffer in the end because people are boycotting you, nobody wants to buy your stuff like shoes and bags and belts which are all made from the skin of these dead animals…. this has to stop and your president needs to put laws in place to protect all the animals you torture and make your crime punishable..

  34. Michelle says:

    Dogs are friends not food~😖😤😭😢

  35. Bec McQuilty says:

    We have to stop this disgrace !!!!

  36. Sid Moodley says:

    Thus is disgusting, no, the people that engage and consume dogs or cats are the scum of the earth.

  37. Carolina says:


  38. Jackie Leggett says:

    Stop this now illegal slaughter of these beautiful animals the whole world has looked on this disgusting torture of animals the police should be there to stop this cruel sick behaviour for god sake the world is looking at you STOP IT NOW 😠😠😠😠😠😠

  39. Peggy Konold says:

    They promised it was over. They are liars. This goes on year around.
    I curse you China in the the name if Jesus. May your pain be multiplied ten fold. You evil people.

  40. Sandy says:

    This needs to stop ~

  41. John Kovacsiss says:

    End this now!!!

  42. Gillian Masson says:

    I find this utterly disgusting, evil and unnecessary. The executioner’s seem to really enjoy the torchuring without any empathy at all. This make’s me wonder if they are total physchopaths and what evil will they do next when torturing poor defenceless animals becomes boring to them. These people needed locked up and removed from society being capable of carrying out such attrocities. This is the most horrific thing I have ever seen and even worse than the Hollocost. This needs to stop NOW!

  43. Rebecca Stilwell says:

    I am disgusted and tired of these people murdering innocent animals. Dogs and cats are family not food. These people are responsible for the deaths of so many animals all over the world. They have killed rhinos, dolphins, whales, tigers, pangolins, bats, snakes, frogs. The list is endless!

  44. PAMELA says:

    Let’s not even talk about how disgusted everyone is by this DEPLORABLE festival, and how anyone could even imagine eating a beloved companion animal, but it’s the torture, and the cruelty in which these animals take their last breath!!! Skinning them alive, cooking them alive, can you even imagine the horror, the screams!!?? I have a melt down when my cat coughs up a furball, and makes a puking noise. The cries, and barks, and meows of horror must be deafening!!! If you can live with those noises and images, you aren’t human to begin with!!

  45. Janice Suter says:

    As a passionate animal lover I stress every year with the Yulin Festival preparations. It sickens me to think how these dogs and cats are butchered. And although I donate what I can, it leaves me with a void that I can’t do anything more to help save them. This to me is not a ritual to their beliefs, it’s MURDER in the most heinous way. Not only should the festival stop, the demonic people that take part should be behind bars!!!!! I recently looked to see if any positive changes were made and I watched a video of a young reporter questioning a Chinese woman. The Chinese woman was very arrogant and said we’re worse with cows. Not to be hypocritical because I love ALL animals but I don’t believe cows are chopped up alive, blow torched, boiled etc. I’ve never seen a cow with a leash on going for a walk!! If it were up to me no animal would die for food. So to that woman, dogs and cats are PETS!!! PERIOD!! Because they didn’t have a name or know the comforts of living in a house, having toys and treats makes them nothing less that what they are! PETS!! I think it’s sadistic in the manner in which these dogs and cats are murdered and beyond heart wrenching. I COMMEND all the rescue groups and activists that are there trying to rescue these poor animals. I can’t fathom being there and composing myself by such horror.

  46. Carol hill says:

    I think this is a vile cruel industry that is unnessasry and very cruel and soo wrong it needs to stop before China creates another virus

  47. Cassie berchtold says:

    Hi my name is Cassie I live in Cincinnati Ohio. I have been doing a lot reading on this dog meat festival. Has anyone try to say anything about this to the present of China, about this dog meat festival and the trade.

  48. Angela Hunter says:

    This so called festival is barbaric anyone caught taking part in this should be jailed for a yr st the low end of their sentence 5 yrs is closer to what they should get and they should have to spend that time cleaning kennels at shelters all across there country

  49. Chantale Lafontaine says:

    Comment torturé des animaux peut être encore possible en 2020. C’est absolument degueulasse ce qui se passe dsns ce festival de Yulin
    Honte, torture

  50. Diana Centro says:

    They are pets you people are horrible and cruel

  51. Daya Whitaker says:


  52. lucina says:

    this is so wrong these people should all be in jail dog’s and cat’s are pet’s not food stop this animal abuse these people are the problem jail for anyone who hurts they iam so sick of these evil people who make animals suffer I don’t care if they go to jail people need to pay for what they are doing to these poor animals are suffering alot and this needs to stop today

  53. Sue says:

    Thankyou for rescuing the puppies

  54. Arlene taclay says:

    I’m a senior,I am low income,stop these dogs etc from getting slaughtered by these cruel hateful people who dont give a damn, not all the people but the ones who consume beautiful dogs/all anamils,these places should get shut down forever & the people should get put in prison for life they dont change STOP ALL SLAUGHTER

  55. Denise Rimmer says:

    Please stop the barbaric treatment of animals. The rest of the world are watching and waiting for your change in behaviour. X

  56. ilene ONeill says:

    China does not believe in pets. they are a commodity just like our pigs and cow are to us. other countries think the USA is barbaric for eating beef. I don’t care for it myself-that dogs and cats, rats, lizards are killed for food but that’s all they know for thousands of years. my big issue is how they are kept. treated and killed-in no country should that happen

    • Lucinda Sanchez says:

      What bothers me the most is how they kill them and they torture them to death it’s absolutely horrible!

  57. CC says:

    I just had enough! These poor animals being slaughtered in such a horrible way breaks my heart. I cry every time i read these stories! China has a heart of stone! This must end now!! I just can’t stop thinking about those poor babies and the pain and agony there going through and I can’t help them! I here there screams crying in pain and no one to help! Thank you HS doing the best you can!

  58. Wendý Hayes says:

    I am trying to believe the positive indications that 2020 will be the last year that the barbaric yulin festival will take place. I have the utmost respect for each and every campaigner/rescuer who do everything they can to help/free these poor, poor animals. The evil traders, butchers, dog thieves, who inflict this unbelievable cruelty on these defenceless animals, will, one day, be held to account for their actions and I have to believe, that justice will, eventually, be done. In the meantime, I will continue to hope and pray that the end of the dog meat trade/markets will happen soon. Shame on you China for continuing to let this happen.

  59. Wendý Hayes says:

    Please, please stop this cruelty.

  60. Alberto Marrero says:

    This cruelty have to stop now!

  61. Andy says:

    For those who insist on loveing and protecting their favorite animals and discriminate the rest of the animal kingdom is call Bias Life Is Life.

  62. Nataly says:

    This is a slap on the face to the Healthcare System. As a healthcare worker, this infuriates me, how is this barbaric festival allowed to take place amidst the COVID pandemic. Didn’t they learned their lesson?! Don’t they realize their irresponsibility led to a significant number of deaths of people around the globe. This is beyond belief, these people are careless and selfish. Their government is also to blame for, for not abolishing the consumption of dog/cat meat.

  63. Sherine says:

    its funny how society ignores the same treatment with cows,,pigs,chickens but since its a dog and ‘evryone loves dogs’ we support but worse treatment happenns to other animals but we dont care.Its so ironical

    society-is talking as a whole no the few nnn

  64. robert274204 says:

    Amazing blog!!No Dogs Left Behind rescues many dogs from China, every year. I will donate some amount to help these dogs.

  65. Tracy Okten says:

    I am constantly ashamed to be human . This is another reason.
    I am vegan, but live in a world where beautiful animals are treated with such terrible cruelty. Sometimes I feel I no longer want to be here due to this world of wickedness, however, I can only help animals if I am here .
    This happens to poor animals every second of every minute. Pigs, sheep, cows, goats, cats, rabbits, chickens, dogs , fish, octopus, deer, the list is endless. Each life is sacred, each life belongs to the creature , no one has the right to kill another , this world is a sad place. Thankfully there are good people too, just not enough.

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