BEIJING—Chinese and international animal campaigners in Beijing have submitted a letter with 235,000 signatures to call for an end to the annual Yulin dog meat festival at which thousands of dogs and cats will be brutally killed and eaten. Humane Society International, Care2, VShine and Capital Animal Welfare Association are urging Lu Xinshe, Communist Party Secretary of Guangxi, to implement a range of measures to crack down on the gruesome event, including road blocks to prevent illegal dog trucks from entering Yulin, imposing heavy fines, and confiscating animals and placing them in the care of activists. The letter has been endorsed by 87 Chinese animal protection groups including Zhejiang Animal Protection Association and Hainan Small Animal Protection Association.
More than 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are estimated to be killed every year across China for their meat, with thousands set to die at the annual festival in Yulin on June 21st. Many of the dogs and cats are believed to be stolen pets and strays grabbed from the streets, who endure being driven for days across China. The animals are crammed into wire cages before reaching the slaughterhouse where they are typically beaten to death. Most people in China don’t eat dogs, and despite being marketed by dog traders as a traditional event, there was no history of dog meat eating in Yulin before the festival was launched in 2010. HSI’s Adam Parascandola handed over signatures from the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and beyond to Madam Qin, chair of CAWA, HSI’s Chinese partner group.
Parascandola said: “Everyone who signed our letter is standing shoulder to shoulder with the thousands of people across China who passionately oppose the brutal dog and cat meat trade. The annual Yulin festival has come to symbolise the cruelty of this abhorrent trade, and in a few days’ time thousands of dogs and cats, mostly stolen pets, will take their last terrified breaths in a Yulin slaughterhouse. I have witnessed the horror of that scene first hand, and it’s something I will never forget. This year is the Year of the Dog, and there’s no better opportunity to end the suffering.”
Randy Paynter, founder and CEO of Care2, said: “Petition letters calling for an end to this annual event are some of the largest Care2 has hosted. The major outcry is evidence of a cultural shift toward an age of compassion. Care2 members advocate for all of Earth’s species, particularly those living beings who cannot stand up for themselves. We hope their collective voice cuts through to Yulin authorities, who have the power to take action—and foster a more humane and compassionate future for their city.”
Madam Qin of CAWA said: “The Capital Animal Welfare Association has in the last two decades called for an end to our country’s dog and cat meat trade, a commercial activity that has no precedent in China’s past. This industry is not only cruel, but hurts the consumers, public health, our young people, and the reputation of our country. We call on the Yulin authorities to take actions to stop the mass slaughter and incoming dog trucks. Capital Animal Welfare Association is always ready to assist the Yulin authorities to take all necessary actions to end the trade in the city.”
Five facts about the Yulin dog meat festival
1. It’s not a traditional festival—it was only invented in 2010 by dog traders to boost profits. Before the festival started, Yulin had no history of mass dog slaughter and consumption.
2. Thirty million dogs a year are killed across Asia for their meat—some 10-20 million in China alone—and thousands die just for Yulin.
3. The World Health Organisation warns that the dog meat trade spreads rabies and increases the risk of cholera 20-fold.
4. Dog meat is eaten infrequently by less than 20 per cent of the Chinese population.
5. Dog thieves snatch dogs and cats from the streets, as well as steal them from back yards and homes.
The full list of supporting Chinese animal groups is: Baoji Love Home Stray Animal Protection Park; Baoji Small Animal Protection Association; Beijing Home of Him, Her & It; Beijing 812 Loyal Dog Rescue Home; Capital Animal Welfare Association; Changchun Animal Protection Rescue Group; Changchun Pet Rescue & Adoption Home; Changsha Small Animal Protection Association; Dalian Guan’ai Animal Protection; Dalian Love and Creatures Animal Association; Dalian Vshine Animal Protection Association; Folk Life Protection Association; Guangdong Shoushan Volunteer Center; Hainan Normal University Animal Protection Association; Hainan Small Animal Protection Association; Ha’rbin Small Animal Protection Alliance; Hebei Tangshan Stray Animal Shelter; Hebei Wangpu Yard Stray Dog Shelter; Huaibei Zhishan Commune; Huludao Aunty Yuan Stray Dog Shelter; Huludao Small Animal Rescue Group; Inner Mongolia Hohhot Ark of Life Rescue Group; Inner Mongolia Volunteer Association; Jiangyin Small Animal Association; Jiangsu Nantong Stray Animal Help Group; Jiangsu Wuxi Love Fur Kids Shelter; Lanzhou Stray Animal Rescue Center; Lanzhou Wangwangle Shelter; Love Home Qingdao Stray Animal Rescue Group; Love Yard Shelter; Luoyang Animal Protection Association; Mudanjiang Animal Protector Association; Mudanjiang Shield of Love Animal Rescue Volunteer Group; Mudanjiang Small Animal Rescue Alliance; Nanjing Xinduoduo Social Welfare Development Service Center; Nanning Stray Cat Group; Panjin Life Rescue Association Animal Protection Branch; Qingdao Animal Care Association; Qinhuangdao Small Animal Protection Association; Rongcheng Life Protection Garden; Shaanxi Yulin Stray Animal Rescue Group; Shaanxi Yulin Stray Animal Rescue Shelter; Shandong Taishan Small Animal Protection Center; Shenyang Jiecheng 21 Love Alliance; Shenyang Nannan Love Group; Shenyang Sesame Nest Love Rescue Foundation; Shihezi University Animal Protection Association; Shijiazhuang Globe Village; Sichuan Chendu Home of Love; Sichuan Guangyuan Universal Love Animal Protection Center; Sihai Love Public Welfare Group; Sunshine Small Animal Shelter; Taiyuan Small Animal Protection Association; Tangshan Stray Dog Shelter; Tianjin Buddhist Lay Group; Tianjin Light of Prajna Love It Home; Tianjin Positive Energy Rescue Group; Tianjin Small Animal Rescue Group; Tianjin Tanggu Jinzhao Stray Animal Shelter; Tianjin Twilight Rescue Group; Tianjin Yishan Commune; Wuxi Small Animal Protection Association; Wuxi Smile Angel Stray Animal Rescue Center; Wuxi Stray Cat Rescue Association; Xi’an Love It Welfare Society; Xi’an Love Rescue Group; Tianjin Leshan Animal Protection Group; Xi’an Selfless Rescue Group; Xi’an Small Animal Protection Association; Xi’an Weiai Animal Care & Welfare Center; Xi’an Zhongyi Animal Care Association; Xinjiang Bole Love Stray Dog Sanctuary; Xinjiang Hami Small Animal Protection Association; Xinjiang Kuitun Small Animal Protection Association; Xinjiang Yili One Heart Stray Animal Rescue Center; Xinjiang Shihezi Small Animal Protection Association; Xuzhou Animal Care Volunteer Association; Zhejiang Animal Protection Association; Zhejiang University Animal Protection Association; Zhengzhou Pet Protection Association; Zhengzhou Wang Xing People Volunteer Group; Zhijiazhuang Animal Protection Association Preparatory Group; Zhiyan Stray Animal Volunteer Group; Zhuzhou Small Animal Protection Association; Zibo Sunshine Stray Animal Rescue Center.
Media Contact: United Kingdom: Wendy Higgins, HSI Director of International Media: Cell: +44(0)7989 972 423, email@example.com
Notes to Editor: For more info, go to hsi.org/dogmeat