The lychee and dog meat festival, more commonly known as the Yulin dog meat festival, takes place every year in Yulin, Guangxi, China where these festival goers slaughter and eat cas and dogs. It takes place during the summer solstice which is the 21st through to the 30th of June, however it has been reported that dog and cat slaughter, mostly stolen pets, occurs all year round. Last year, for example, the Yulin festival enthusiasts began the festival a week earlier to avoid the media backlash.
So why does this festival exist?
Dog meat consumption began in China 400 years ago. It was a common belief back then that dog meat would stimulate internal heat which would in turn ward of the winter cold. This is no longer the case, now a days it is a more common belief that eating dog meat brings you health and luck. In China dog meat is prized meat that doctors can even prescribe to treat conditions such as impotence and poor circulation.
What happens during the Yulin dog meat festival?
In Yulin, dog meat has become a huge part of society. Dogs and cats around China are stolen and squashed inside of tiny cages that are not handled with care at all. No consideration is given to the animal inside. In a piece written by Peter J.Li for the International Business Times he says that “a cat fetus was ejected from a crate due to violent unloading”.
The workers as part of this festival then remove these animals from their cages using a metal thong. At this point the have a wooden or metal stick on hand which they use to hit these animals over the head in order to stop them from fighting. The animals throat is then cut and left bleeding out before it is thrown into a spinning de-hairing machine. Some of these dogs don’t receive even this kind of treatment with cases recorded or dogs blow-torched or boiled alive.
All of these horrific events are preformed in front of the terrified dogs and cats that are next in line.
Why hasn’t this festival been canceled?
A draft law was proposed in China in 2009 to punish animal abusers with a heft fine and two weeks detention. It also stated that organisations found selling dog or cat meat would receive a huge fine. The national People’s Congress has not signed the law yet, however, and has yet to release a statement.
It is important to remember though, that the events that occur within the Yulin dog meat festival are not the actions of China. Chinese officials are against these events and the Chinese Emperor has tried to outlaw dog eating.The tang Dynasty even adopted a livestock protection legislation. It is illegal sell meat from animals that have been transported in crowed and unsanitary conditions such as these dogs and cats, making the activities of the Yulin dog meat festival in some way illegal.
How can it be stopped?
They only way that we can try to put a stop to this horrific festival is to continue with the public outcry that the festival has been receiving. A similar festival, the Jinhua Hute dog meat festvial was banned due to the pressures from social media.
Below is the link to a petition trying to put a stop to this festival. Make sure to sign it.