The Truth about the Dog Meat Trade.
Yulin is an ancient city in China known for holding an annual dog meat festival from 21 st to 30 th June, purportedly to celebrate the summer solstice, where an estimated 10,000 dogs and cats are killed and eaten each year. Far from being ancient or traditional, this festival, known worldwide as ‘Yulin’, was created recently in 2009 to bring business to a place that was economically depressed. Sadly, it has been very successful in doing so.
What is not so well known is that Yulin happens all year round, all over the Chinese countryside. It is estimated that in China alone, 10 to 15 million dogs are eaten annually – some figures say 50,000 per day and 4 to 5 million cats.
Far from dying out, the dog and cat meat trade is a thriving, highly profitable industry thanks to a strong network of greedy restauranteurs, meat dealers and butchers who, out to make easy money, have convinced the public that eating dog and cat meat is healthful and fashionable.
We estimate that worldwide as many as 30 million dogs are eaten each year. Many dogs and cats are also used to make medicines and various tinctures or elixirs, which are sold for various health ailments or just as tonics. Their fur is also sold.
No meat industry is without cruelty but what truly separates this meat trade from others around the world is the extreme level of brutality and pain that the animals suffer.
In every country where dog meat is eaten, the people who do these things believe that the more intense the fear and torture experienced by the animals, the better flavour the meat will have. The belief is that stimulating as much adrenaline as possible through the animal’s body before death will make the meat more tasty and healthful.
Our campaign is to end this cruelty by teaching compassion and partnering with grassroots activists who share our vision of change.
Prior to being killed, the dogs and cats are ‘tenderised’ before death via malicious practices, including various combinations of hanging, bludgeoning, drowning, suffocation, stabbing, electrocuting, burning, blowtorching, boiling and skinning alive.
In order to increase their suffering, the dogs and cats are usually forced to watch this being done to multiple others while they await their own turn.
The dogs and cats are often transported long distances, crammed into cages so small they can’t move with no food or water on journeys that can take days. The majority of these dogs are very ill with injuries such as broken legs and open wounds, etc. Diseases such as distemper, parvovirus and sometimes rabies spread quickly. Many die on the journey or soon after.
Where are the dogs and cats from?
Depending on the country, many dogs that end up in the markets are raised specifically for their meat, while others are lost or stolen pets. Some still wear their collars and tags as they are crammed into the small wire cages – sometimes twenty- five dogs in one cage – and sold to slaughterhouses by cruel traffickers. Most dog meat dealers and butchers come from a criminal element and are often members of underground gangs, which commonly operate the dog and cat meat trades in these countries.
What kind of dogs are eaten?
Any dog can end up in the dog meat trade. Former companions, stolen pets, all types of purebreds, such as Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Maltese Terriers, Labradors, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Schnauzers, Collies, Beagles, Great Danes, Greyhounds, and St Bernards. Dogs from puppy mills, shelters, farmed dogs, dogs trafficked from the police pounds and dogs sold at closed dog auctions. Puppies are regarded as a delicacy.
What do we say to our critics?
Some may defend dog and cat eating as a country’s right to follow its ‘cultural tradition’. Yet haven’t there been many cruel practices throughout history that have been banned as societies became more civilised and compassionate. There is no place for such cruelty in our society. Let’s end this together. #JoinUs #NoActionTooSmall