The Yulin Festival in China has just begun, coinciding with the Summer Solstice: thousands of dogs will be slaughtered and killed. The poor animals will be locked up in overcrowded cages, beaten with sticks and slaughtered, boiled, skinned.
400 dogs have just been rescued by the police following a report from animal rights activists. The animals were kept inside a truck, piled on top of each other in tiny cages. The dogs were kidnapped and placed in quarantine.
Activists believe that they are guard or companion dogs kidnapped from companies and private homes. Kidnapping is in fact a consolidated practice for criminals who resell dogs destined for this and other events.
In Asia, 30 million dogs are slaughtered every year
In 2020, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs declared that dogs are not livestock for human consumption, but rather pets.
Several Chinese cities such as the metropolises of Shenzen and Zhuhai have introduced a ban on the consumption of dog and cat meat, moreover in various surveys the overwhelming majority of citizens say they do not eat these animals.
Yulin Dog Day is held annually in Yulin, a dog meat festival, which includes the slaughter of over ten thousand dogs, which are kept in unsanitary conditions and are often subjected to outright torture. Despite widespread belief that dogs consumed at the festival were bred from dog farms, a study done by Animals Asia Foundation reported that most dogs that are consumed are strays or stolen pets.
Approximately 70% of rural villages surveyed in China have suffered mysterious dog losses. There are allegations that many of the dogs eaten appear to have been stolen household pets from local villages, judging by their collars and sometimes by family members who identify their own pets.
The festival organizers claim that the dogs are killed humanely and that eating dog is no different from eating pork or beef. Animal rights activists and campaigners, however, claim that the animals are treated cruelly. Some media outlets, including tabloids, have reported that dogs are intentionally tortured or boiled alive to improve the taste of their meat.