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November 11, 2016

Dogs saved from being eaten at China's Yulin dog meat festival find happy homes in the UK

Actor Peter Egan meets four lucky pups & two lucky cats rescued by Humane Society International

Humane Society International/UK

  • Actor Peter Egan poses with HSI staff. Anneka Svenska

  • Actor Peter Egan welcomes to the UK a dog rescued from the Yulin dog meat festival in China. Mike Meekin Photography

  • Wendy Higgins with a dog rescued from the Yulin dog meat trade. Anneka Svenska


Four dogs and two cats have arrived safely in the U.K. after being rescued by animal charity Humane Society International from China’s notorious Yulin dog meat festival. As part of HSI’s high profile campaign to end the trade, which combines political lobbying, public campaigning, and direct rescue of hundreds of dogs each year from slaughter trucks and markets, HSI rescued this group just one day away from being killed. The annual Yulin event in June sees thousands of dogs and cats brutally slaughtered for their meat. The group were part of a total of 170 sick and injured animals HSI was able to rescue from slaughterhouses and markets on the outskirts of Yulin. Terrified and traumatised, they received immediate veterinary care and rehabilitation by HSI’s Chinese partner groups. Now well enough to travel, the four dogs and two cats have made the journey to the U.K. where HSI has teamed up with the All Dogs Matter rehoming centre in north London to find them happy forever families.

Actor Peter Egan, an All Dogs Matter patron and a passionate supporter of HSI’s campaign to end Asia’s dog meat trade, greeted the animals on their arrival. Peter said: “It’s been an honour to meet these brave survivors of China’s brutal dog and cat meat trade, and humbling to see how forgiving and loving they still are despite their appalling ordeal. I’m shocked to think that were it not for HSI, these beautiful animals would have long been dead, innocent lives wasted for the Yulin festival. Thankfully they are safe, now adorable ambassadors for the campaign to end this horrific trade once and for all.” 

Help us fight the dog meat trade.

The Yulin dog meat festival takes place every year on June 21, with thousands of dogs and cats – many of them stolen pets driven many miles across China by unscrupulous traders – beaten and killed for eating. It is an event that has come to symbolise a brutal year-round trade that sees more than 10 million dogs killed for meat every year across China.

Claire Bass, HSI’s U.K. director, said: “These poor creatures have experienced the very worst of humanity – brutal treatment by dog traders, crammed onto the back of a truck with hundreds of other terrified animals, only to end up at a slaughterhouse in Yulin. Their fate would have been to be beaten to death in front of each other, until HSI’s rescue team stepped in. We found them in a horrifying state but remarkably, they still wagged their tails in hope of kindness. And kindness is exactly what they have received from the moment they were safely in our care. It’s so rewarding to see them alive and well, knowing that they will soon find loving homes and never again have to experience the fear of being eaten. Tragically though, millions of other dogs and cats still face that threat, and so HSI’s campaign continues to end the cruelty once and for all.”

The four dogs, Hope, Snowy, Alice and Lucy, and cat Simon, are all settling in at All Dogs Matter where they will be available for adoption. Anyone interested in giving them a home can apply here. The second cat, named Li, has already landed on her paws, adopted by HSI/UK’s Director Claire Bass.

Ira Moss, CEO of All Dogs Matter, said: “We are delighted and honoured that Humane Society International has given us the opportunity to take these dogs and cats in from China and the awful meat trade. We'd hate to think of what their fate may have been if they hadn't been rescued and flown to the UK by HSI for us to be able to re home them on their behalf. We are confident that all six will be safely in their homes by Christmas having their first Christmas dinner in their new forever home.”

Fast facts about the dog meat trade

  • An estimated 30 million dogs a year are killed across Asia for their meat, more than 10 million in China alone, and thousands die just for the Yulin festival.
  • Yulin is not a traditional festival, it was only invented in 2010 by dog traders to boost profits.
  • The World Health Organisation warns that the dog meat trade spreads rabies and increases the risk of cholera 20-fold.
  • Dog meat is only eaten infrequently by less than 20 per cent of the Chinese population.
  • HSI works primarily in China, South Korea, Vietnam and Nagaland (India) to tackle the trade, as well as supporting project in other countries such as Laos and Thailand.

How You Can Help

* If you’re interested to adopt one of our Yulin rescues, or any of the dogs and cats at All Dogs Matter, apply online at http://alldogsmatter.co.uk/adopt-a-dog/

*Text WOOF03 £3 to 70070 to donate £3 to help HSI save dogs

*Donate dog toys and blankets to All Dogs Matter, South End Farm, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3SE.

Media Contacts:
UK: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org, +44(0)7989 972 423

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