Despite heroic efforts of Chinese animal rights activists, the controversial Yulin Festival in China’s southern Guangxi province occurred on Sunday with the slaughter of up to 40,000 dogs and 10,000 cats — a practice widely condemned for its cruelty. Thousands of cats and dogs have been slaughtered at the Yulin Festival despite government promises to end the practice which has been condemned internationally on grounds of animal cruelty.
The animals are served with the tropical fruit in the area, lychee, as a celebration of the arrival of summer. Dozens of dogs are stuffed into single cages and they are generally electrocuted, burned, and skinned. Activists say that the animals are often still alive when they are skinned.
Activists tried to block the streets of such places as the Dashichang dog market but were attacked by locals with sticks and had dog and cat entrails thrown at them. In the meantime, vendors used blowtorches on the animals to prepare their carcasses for sale to restaurants. Many are stolen pets or strays that are left emaciated and dirty in cramped cages.
While China has long been condemned for its wide spread cruelty to animals from mistreatment in zoos to conditions in markets, it is also important to note that these brave activists are Chinese who have fought diligently to save the animals — including buying the animals to rescue them.For example, Yang Xiaoyun, 65, paid roughly 7,000 Yuan (£720) to save 100 dogs.
The government opposes the slaughter and puts the death toll as 10,000 dogs and 4,000 cats were killed in 2014 but activists put the figure this year around 40,000 dogs and 10,000 cats.