The first footage of gruesome preparations for this year’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival have emerged after NoToDogMeat activists arrived in the region
Our campaigners have now arrived in Yulin, preparing to document the slaughter as part of the organisation’s United Nations Special Consultative Status, and rescue as many dogs as possible.
In footage obtained by lead campaigner Qin Xi Zhao, shops can be seen setting up, and dogs can be seen laid out, ahead of the June 21 summer solstice event.
The dogs, which have been rounded up from nearby villages and transported to the festival, have been killed using methods including hanging and blowtorching.
Mr Zhao, who runs the charity’s largest shelter in Hebei: “This is the most devastating part of my life, and every year we see things which are so traumatic. But as a charity we will not look away, and will do all we can to help the dogs.”
The Yulin festival began in 2009, and every year, including during the pandemic, people gather to enjoy the torture of dogs before eating their flesh in a range of stews and soups.
The price of dog meat varies with small stalls charging less than bigger ones. But on average the cost to eat a butchered dog is £5 a pound, and around £10 for a kilo.
Last month NoToDogMeat appealed to western tourists not to travel to the event, over fears that the spectacle could be bigger than ever due to the relaxing of covid travel rules.
Julia de Cadenet, a London-based lawyer who founded the charity in 2009, said: “Two days ago, our team arrived in Yulin. We could not stand by and wait for the festival to begin.
“This year all of our volunteers are Chinese and hate what happens to dogs and cats. They are led by brave Mr Zhao, who has rescued dogs many times from this horror fest. We are sad to confirm that the dog meat markets are open, and the killing has started.”
Two years ago the charity uncovered an illegal dog farm, and campaigners plan to go back there. The charity also plans to raid some slaughterhouses and try to stop the dealers, who are operating illegally.
Julia added: ” From what we have seen so far, most of the people eating dogs are local. So far, no foreigners are in sight. As the weeks continue, people will arrive from out of state.
“We must remind the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture that dogs are on the ‘safe list’. They are not for consumption.”
NoToDogMeat is urging people around the world to write to Minister of Agriculture chief Tan Renjian to make their feelings known.
The Asia For Animals coalition says that it is hard to gauge how many animals are slaughtered each year at Yulin. However, where figures have been collected the festival is believed to be responsible for the slaughter of between 10,000 and 15,000 dogs.
Many of the animals are stolen pets, but despite this the meat is not cheap , and promoted by traders as a health tonic.
The Asia For Animals coalition adds: “Dog and cat meat is NOT part of China’s mainstream food culture. Dog meat was not on the government’s food rationing list in the past, nor is it on the list of meat guaranteed by China’s strategic meat reserve’.”
To donate to NoToDogMeat’s efforts in Yulin CLICK HERE