Yulin Dog Meat Festival: Animal Rights Activists Buy Hundreds Of Animals To Save Them From Being Butchered For ‘Dog Hotpot’ Dishes

Animal rights activists have been buying hundreds of dogs at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival that began in China to save them from being butchered for meat.

Animal rights groups were seen picking up dogs by the hundreds at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which began yesterday. The festival, which celebrates the practice of eating dog meat, began Tuesday despite facing widespread criticism and international opposition. Thousands of dogs and cats have been transported to the village only to be killed in some of the most sadistic techniques. While the animal merchants and restaurant groups that serve dog meat insist they kill the animals in a humane manner, activists who visit the festival tell a very different and horrifying tale of barbarism.

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Animal rights groups such as Humane Society International (HSI) and quite a few dog lovers are attempting to disrupt the controversial festival by buying the dogs headed to the slaughterhouse. The activists have been negotiating with the sellers of dogs to rescue these defenseless creatures from a certain and cruel death. The restaurants butcher the dogs for the commonly prepared “Dog Hotpot” dish.

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The groups were able to significantly impact the festival by preventing the dogs being inhumanely butchered to be served as meat, reported the Independent. Dealing directly with merchants, the activists bought hundreds of dogs from a local trader who was readying the canines to sell them to a slaughterhouse in Yulin.

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HSI confirmed on its Facebook page that all the rescued dogs have been temporarily housed in a makeshift shelter and will be administered food and water. Apart from the group, animal rights activist Marc Ching claimed he had rescued at least a thousand pooches that would have been certainly killed in the festival.

The success of the animal rights groups is evident from the fact that the villagers have begun complaining about them. Locals said the activists were ruining the event by barging in and taking away the dogs. The locals insist the Dog Meat Festival is a local tradition. Incidentally, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival may be an annual event that takes place every Summer Solstice, but it is certainly not old.

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According to historians, the practice of eating dog meat began about 500 years ago, with people in China, South Korea, and other South Asian regions indulging in the supposed delicacy. However, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival began in 2010. The festival was kick-started by a group of local businessmen who might have been looking for a way to drum up business.

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Interestingly, the support for the festival as well as the practice of eating dog meat isn’t very high. According to state news agency Xinhua, 64 percent of Chinese people aged 16 to 50 would support a permanent end to the festival. Some 51.7 percent, including Yulin residents, wanted the dog meat trade banned completely, and 69.5 percent said they have never eaten dog meat, reported SBS Australia.

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Despite the dwindling business, anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 animals are brought in cramped cages to be killed, and this year is no exception. However, owing to increased awareness, people who usually flock to these festivals, have been shying away.

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The internet appears divided about the practice of eating dog meat. Many seem to condone the practice, justifying it by arguing animals like the chicken, pigs, and cows are killed by the millions each year for human consumption. However, the dogs are killed in a very sadistic manner to enhance the taste, argue dog lovers. They insist dogs are often clubbed to death. More often than not, their fur is burnt off with a blowtorch. The Inquisitr had previously reported about dogs being boiled alive “to provoke a surge of adrenalin which gives a better taste.”

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While China legally allows the practice of eating dog meat, the local government has distanced itself from the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Perhaps with the efforts of the animal rights groups and dog lovers, the festival might fizzle out this year, saving thousands of dogs from a brutal end.

[Photo by Daniel Mihailescu/Getty Images]