CHINA: Dog Meat Festival

Dog Meat Festival Draws Ire of Animal Rights Activists

 The annual Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Guangxi Province has drawn increasing attention from animal rights activists in recent years. This year, a social media blitz condemning the festival helped bring it to international attention as well. Jennifer Duggan of The Guardian reports on the festival:

About 10,000 dogs are likely to slaughtered during this year’s event, which got underway on Sunday and marks the summer solstice in the town in south-west China.

Dog meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of China but there is increasing opposition to the practice as dogs have become popular pets among China’s growing middle class, particularly in affluent cities.

While the festival has been a focus of international outcry in previous years, opposition is growing in China, with a number of celebrities including actor Fan Bingbing adding their voices to an online campaign. Fan features in a video with a number of other celebrities holding signs saying: “Dogs are our friends, please don’t hurt them.”

Apparently concerned about the adverse publicity, Yulin’s local government has distanced itself from the festival, which has been running since 1995. Earlier this month, it announced that there was no official dog meat festival and that it was something that had spread among some traders and local people. [Source]

Animal rights activists have developed various tactics aimed at shutting down the festival and rescuing the captured dogs. Natalie Thomas of Reuters reports on Yang Xiaoyun, who has spent thousands of yuan buying dogs before they are slaughtered:

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