This Saturday, around 10,000 pet and stray dogs who have been abducted from the street and exposed to extreme cruelty will be cooked in a hot-pot and eaten by festival-goers at China’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival without a second thought.
Animal rights campaigners and lawyers have long called for a ban on the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and have stated that not only is the festival damaging to China’s reputation in the eyes of the world, it is also illegal.
Dog lovers in the Western world may regard their faithful and loyal four-legged companions as the best friend a man can have, but in countries such as China, many people still regard dogs as something to eat rather than to pet.
Campaigners protesting against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival have criticized China not just for the consumption of dog meat. but the barbaric and medieval way in which they torture and slaughter the dog beforehand.
Fear and deep distress in the dog before death is thought according to Chinese custom, to tenderize the meat through the release of adrenaline, and make for a better meal.
The practice of beating dogs to death to release the blood in the meat is still a popular practice in some regions of China, as is killing, cooking and serving the dog up in front of diners.
In recent years, as China has become more affluent, an increasing number of families are buying dogs for pets. This in turn this has led to an increase of criminals threatening dog lovers to hand over their pets for use in the dog meat industry.
Lawyer Li Weimin told China’s Xinhua news agency that nearly all of the dog meat being bought and sold at the Yulin Festival is from the black market.
“Some of the animal thieves broke Criminal Law using weapons to threaten residents to hand over their dogs.”
The dogs, which are sold for a few dollars to cook in the Solstice Hot-pot, are viewed by the criminals who abduct them as nothing more than a way to make a profit from wide-scale misery.
The dogs are kept in conditions and slaughtered in a manner that would be deemed illegal if they were pigs. Animal rights lawyer An Ziang pointed out:
“We can clearly see rules on raising animals like pigs and producing their meat in the laws, but we haven’t seen any on dogs. I was told there are four major workshops that produce dog meat in Yulin. I visited them and found all of them had no business licenses or certificates.”
Although local restaurants have been ordered to cover the word “dog” on signs to appease protesters, dog remains still very much on the menu when it comes to China’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival.