A new video showing puppies and dogs lined up for sale on the streets in Yulin has fueled the raging fire against the ongoing canine meat festival in the south Chinese province of Guangxi. The annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival was put underway on Sunday, June 21.
State media expect at least 10,000 dogs will be slaughtered for their meat during the festival on Sunday and Monday to mark the summer solstice. Members of the Humane Society International went around a crowded market in Yulin filming traders openly selling dogs, many kept in tightly packed cages. The group has been opposing the event, along with other animal rights activists, on grounds of cruelty and public health.
Dogs go on sale for Yulin festival despite worldwide outrage
Over the last month nearly a million Twitter users have tweeted using the hashtag #StopYulin2015 pushing for a ban on the festival. British comedian Ricky Gervais, who has partnered with the Humane Society International, wrote: “Please help our best friend.” He attached a photo of a dog with a lipstick kiss on its face, saying: “The only marks you should leave on a dog.”
As many as 10,000 dogs, many of them stolen pets, are slaughtered on the occasion held deep in the largely rural and poor Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The majority of these "meat dogs" are stolen pets and strays, according to an investigation published this month by Hong Kong-based charity Animals Asia, though eating dog is unusual in most parts of China.
Under the Yulin tradition, eating dog and lychee and drinking liquor on the solstice is supposed to make people stay healthy during winter. In the modern-day scenario, it is the perfect time to get together with family and friends - and consume copious amounts of dog meat. Liang Xiaoli is one such Yulin resident who swears by the tradition and defends her choice of continuing to eat dogs.
"This is one of our traditions," said Liang Xiaoli, who had returned home especially for the festival. She adds, "You can't just lump all people together. For example, if I think eating pork is really brutal, then no one can eat pork. That's not on.”