In Yulin, summer solstice marks the coming of the hottest days for the Chinese city. The remote, woody city (literally “jade forest”) celebrates the astronomical event—this year, June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere—with its annual dog-eating festival. The local tradition reportedly began in the 1990s, but the local practice of eating dog meat outdates written history.
According to Chinese lore, eating dog meat stimulates internal heat, making it a food that wards off winters’ cold. But on this inaugural day of summer, it’s a superstition that’s driving dog consumption: the meat is believed to bring good luck and health. At the festival, hotpots are fired up, lychees peeled and liquors poured. Animal activists estimate over 10,000 dogs are killed for the festival, according to China Daily, the government’s English-language mouthpiece.
There has been much international condemnation of the annual so-called dog meat festival in Yulin.
In 2011, the festival went on for 10 days wherein more than 15,000 dogs were slaughtered and eaten. This is only an estimated figure and the numbers can be higher.
Dogs are skinned alive, torn apart, smashed with hammers and cut with chainsaws and even boiled and set on fire, alive. A lot of people at the festival also engage in public torturing of these poor souls by dragging and running over them with cars.Not only strays but even pet dogs with their collars still on are stolen from all over the country.
Close to 226,800 kilograms of dog meat is consumed every year. The city of Yulin has over 100 dog slaughter houses that butcher as many 2000 dogs a day during the festival.
Dogs are crammed into small cages and sent on a grueling journey to Yulin. This journey alone is so traumatic and uncomfortable that thousands of dogs die due to dehydration or starvation on the way itself. There is no exact figure of how many dogs have been slaughtered and eaten since the beginning of this brutal festival.
There’s no animal protection law in China. Looking at the unprecedented global outrage over the festival, Chinese’s authorities told the people.of Yulin to stop using the word ‘Dog Meat’ and continue with the festival.The festival has also led to a surge in the number of rabies cases in the city of Yulin.
This Dog eating festival has been banned in the past, but Yulin officials claim that the festival does not exist
In recent years protest within China against the dog-meating tradition has been fuelled by campaigns on Chinese rather than international social media. Around 350,000 people have taken part in an online discussion forum about the festival on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. Anti-government messages and images are heavily-censored on Weibo, but while protest against human rights abuse or pro-democracy views are crushed, animal activism is allowed.