wp header logo 720

Yulin dog meat festival begins in China amid widespread criticism – BBC.com

The festival sees people gather to have dog meat hotpot, fruit lychees and liquor
An annual dog meat festival has begun in southern China, amid widespread domestic and international opposition.
About 10,000 dogs and cats are expected to be killed and eaten during the controversial 10-day festival in Yulin.
Activists say the event is cruel, and this year a petition calling for it to be banned collected 11 million signatures.
The local government says the festival does not have official backing but is staged by private businesses.
The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival sees people gathering in Yulin to sample dog meat hotpot, lychee fruits and local liquor.
A tradition of eating dog meat dates back some 500 years in China, South Korea and other countries, where many believe it wards off the heat in summer months.
However the Yulin festival, celebrated during the summer solstice, is a relatively new one, beginning only in recent years.
Dogs come from as far as 1,000 miles away and are sometimes denied food and water for days during their trip, activists say
Residents and vendors in Yulin say the animals are killed in a humane way. But critics say animals are killed brutally and publicly, and are sometimes beaten to death or cooked while still alive.
Ahead of the festival, dogs are often kept in small, cramped cages. Some photographs show animals wearing collars, suggesting they may have been stolen pets.
Many dogs are transported from other cities in cramped lorries and unsanitary conditions, allowing diseases to spread easily. According to campaign group Stop Yulin Forever, external, dogs are denied food and water for days during their trip.
Many people travel to Yulin from other cities to take part in the festival
Selling dog meat for human consumption is legal in China, with an estimated 10 million dogs killed for human consumption every year.
The Yulin event is a source of pride for many locals, with many restaurants serving dog dishes and people travelling to the city to join in. But it attracts widespread and growing criticism each year.
A poll published this week in state news agency Xinhua, external showed that 64% of people aged 16 to 50 would support a permanent end to the festival.
Another 51.7%, including Yulin residents, wanted the dog meat trade banned completely, with 69.5% claiming to have never eaten dog meat.
"It's embarrassing to us that the world wrongly believes that the brutally cruel Yulin festival is part of Chinese culture," said Qin Xiaona, director of the Capital Animal Welfare Association charity, one of many groups that commissioned the survey. "It isn't."
Many activist groups, like Humane Society International (HSI) are also working to rescue dogs from local slaughterhouses. The HSI rescued 20 dogs from a slaughterhouse just a day ahead of the festival.
"It's shocking to think that if we had not been there, all these animals would have been beaten to death and eaten," said Peter Li, HSI's China policy specialist.
On China's Sina Weibo social network, the majority of netizens have voiced disapproval, with one user saying his dog was "family, not food".
"My dog is almost ten years old and is like my family", writes this Weibo user
However, another Weibo user said it was hypocritical to say that eating other forms of meat such as pork was alright, yet shun dog meat just because dogs "were cute".
The Yulin government has distanced itself from the gathering, saying that it does not officially organise the festival.
This year, media reports say officials have banned the slaughter of dogs in public. In anticipation of protests, they have also increased security on streets near well-known restaurants and markets.
Some activists say there is little chance of a stop to the festival
HSI says it believes that business is slowing down.
"A Yulin official told us that contrary to what has been reported in some media, dog meat sales have in fact been declining continuously," said Mr Li. "The authorities seem nervous and are alerting government employees to stay away from the dog meat restaurants."
Andrea Gung, founder of the Duo Duo project, external which aims to end the dog and cat meat trade, says the local government is aware of the problem, but no one wants to "stick their neck out" to stop it.
However, one dog meat seller said that the opposition to the festival had actually backfired.
"Because of the protests, more people know that Yulin has a dog meat festival, so everyone comes and tries it," Lin told AFP.
China struggles with dog-meat dilemma
The day my dog was cooked for dinner
Dog meat festival under way amid row
Biden unveils Israeli proposal to end Gaza war
Attack Trump verdict or be exiled – a new test for Republicans
What world made of Trump guilty verdict
Marian Robinson played a unique role in the White House
Global tourism is booming. These people would rather it wasn’t
Who's up, who's down in South Africa's election – and why
Meet the women campaigning to become Mexico's first female president
Weekly quiz: Why wasn’t James Bond shaken or stirred by Lana Del Rey?
'The air in the courtroom turned to stone'
Why France's start-up champion has struggled abroad
Lily Allen shares her pivotal cultural influences
She reflects on her childhood and the pressures of life in the spotlight
The Outlaws must race against time to prove their innocence
Stephen Merchant’s comedy thriller has returned to iPlayer with a brand-new series
How did a Brazilian flip-flop take over the world?
Hear about the birth of this iconic footwear and how it became a global success story
Peter Parker swings into a tangled web of universes
Watch Marvel's blockbuster, multi-verse epic, Spider-Man: No Way Home, on iPlayer now
© 2024 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top