The rescue was all thanks to the organisation Humane Society International (HSI). The HSI volunteers, along with Chinese protestors, started negotiationswith the managers of the slaughterhouse, who agreed to free the animals.
Peter Li, who works for HSI in China, explains in a press release:
The police presence is heavy in Yulin right now, and the atmosphere is very tense, so this was not an easy rescue. The dogs and cats were clearly afraid, especially the older dogs who looked very fearful...It’s shocking to think that if we had not been there, all these animals would have been beaten to death and eaten.
It’s not just international organisations who are fighting to put an end to the Yulin festival: Chinese animal rights groups are also doing their best to hold back the “festivities”.The ultimatehorror of the situation is that the majority of dogs slaughtered in theannualmassacre are stolen from their beloved humans.Amongst the 34 animals rescued by HSI, some of them were still wearing their collars...This is just one of the reasons that public opinion in China is beginning to turn against the Yulin festival.
Two million Chinese citizens are against the consumption of dog meat, while 31 MPs have proposed the government ban it and the associated barbaric practices, such as the Yulin festival. We need pressure from across the world to finally put an end to this.
Source: @Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon
Since2014, the local government has distanceditself from the event, removing sponsorship and even calling to close some of the dog meat markets in an attemptto scale back the public’s attention on the festival.And recent reports from Yulin seem to confirm that enthusiasm is waning.Peter Li, who was in Yulin just a few days before the festival began, continues:
Yulin feels like a place that's holding its breath right now. Business was slow at the Dongkou animal market, and a dreadful slaughterhouse exposed by Humane Society International a couple of months ago was shut down when we returned yesterday. Another slaughterhouse we visited was open but we saw no live animals. The word 'dog' has been painted out or covered with tape on several of the restaurants and slaughterhouses we saw, and a Yulin official told us that, contrary to what has been reported in some media, dog meat sales have in fact been declining continuously.
Source: @Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon
It's the first time since the festival's launch in 2010 that the local authorities have explicitly voiced their disapproval.HSI reports that Yulin officials have written a letter to a Chinese legislator who has been lobbying against the festival for many years now. It reads:
The dog meat festival, though not promoted by the local government, is a private and spontaneous activity. However, the Yulin authorities and relevant government agencies will take immediate actions to prevent it from happening again.
All signs are pointing to the imminent end of the Yulin festival. At least, we can hope. And we are praying that the 2016 festival,which began on June 21, will be the shortest yet, if not the last.As for the 34 animals who escaped their gruesome fate, they are currently undergoing medical examinations and will then be spread across various rescue centres mainly in the US and Canada, before being put up for adoption.