For animals around the world every year, the summer solstice period has a very bitter aftertaste. And this year is no different. On June 21 the abhorrent Yulin festival starts in China, leading to the shameful massacre of 10,000 dogs and 4000 cats who will later be eaten.
Started in only 2010 by the city’s dog meat traders, the vendors see the animals as pure money-making machines. The cats and dogs are imprisoned in tiny cages until the day they are slaughtered in the most barbaricways.The dogs are electrocuted, burned and skinned alive, since the traders believe that the adrenaline caused by fear and pain makes their meat taste better.
Before they are killed, the terrified animals are transported hundreds of miles, rammed into tiny cages with no food or water, let alone any space to move.The ultimatehorror of the situation is that the majority of dogs slaughtered in theannualmassacre are stolen from their beloved humans.Breeding dogs for meat consumption is rare, so instead, the streets are filled with petsstill wearing their collars.
Every year, more and more outraged people are calling to put an end to the festival.The furore has beenparticularly widespread in 2016: millions of animal-lovers have signed petitions, and organisations from both China and across the world have made huge efforts to draw attention to the practice, aiming to spare the lives of as many dogs and cats as possible.
Sadly, the 11 million signatures from across the world (such asthis petition on Avaaz) were not enough to put an end to the Yulin massacre. Though things are certainly starting to change.
A practice that divides the country
Whilst the country still eats the most dog meat in the world, killing around 20 million dogs each year, the Chinese authorities are slowly realising how badlythe dog meat trade is affecting their global image.In an interview with Paris Match, Brigitte Auloy of the Fondation Brigitte Bardot explains:
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.
For the younger generation in China, who are heavily influenced by the West, dogs and cats are first and foremost seen aspets. It is therefore considered a shocking and cruel practice to eat them.Millions of Chinese citizens support legislation to banthe dog meat industry, so it is hoped that the cruel trade will fall into decline over the next few decades.
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.But the Yulin festival still goes on behind closed doors.If you want to help the organisations who are still fighting against the practice and to increase pressure on the Chinese government, you can still sign the petition. Please take a stand against this horrific slaughter!