Chinese animal rights activists seek to shut annual dog meat festival

Animal rights activists are seeking to shut down an annual dog meat festival in southern China blamed for blackening the country’s international reputation as well as fueling cruelty to canines and unhygienic food handling practices.

Activists from a coalition of groups said they will continue to press for the festival to be banned as well as legislation outlawing the slaughtering of dogs and cats and the consumption of their meat. 

While an estimated 10m-20m dogs are killed for their meat each year in China, the June 20 event in the city of Yulin has come to symbolise the cruelty and lack of hygiene associated with the largely unregulated industry.

Yu Hongmei, director of the VShine Animal Protection Association, said China needs to follow the example of the vast majority of developed nations that have banned eating dog and cat.

“China needs to progress with the times,” said Mr Yu. 

“Preventing cruelty to animals is the sign of a mature, civilised society.”

Restaurant owners say eating dog meat is traditional during the summer, while opponents say the festival, which began in 2010, has no cultural value and was merely invented to drum up business.

Since 2014, the local government has sought to disassociate itself from the event, forbidding its employees from attending and limiting its size by shutting down some dog markets and slaughter houses.

As many as 10,000 dogs, many of them stolen pets, are killed for the festival deep inside the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.


Lifestyle

From Turkey to Vietnam, here’s where the chef and food writer has fallen in love with on her travellers.Sabrina Ghayour’s top 5 cities for foodies to visit

Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer, Department of Health (University College Cork graduate)Working Life: Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer, Department of Health

Like most Irish kids of our generation, chillies, spicy food, heat were never really big aspects of our formative eating experiences.Currabinny Cooks: Getting spicy in the kitchen

New Yorker Jessica Bonenfant Coogan has noticed a curious discrepancy between east and west when it comes to Cork county; arts infrastructure has tended to be better resourced in the west of Ireland’s largest county.Making an artistic mark in East Cork

More From The Irish Examiner