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Yulin Dog Meat Festival 2024

While some locals claim it's part of their culture, millions protest against the cruel festival worldwide and some people even adopt rescued dogs

Dates: June 21–June 30

Disclaimer: doesn't seek to promote this event but rather raise awareness of this phenomenon. Silencing it won't make it stop. Only public pressure and outrage will. So we encourage our readers to act in the manner they consider necessary.

Yulin Dog Meat Festival (or Lychee and Dog Meat Eating Festival) is a controversial festival held in Yulin, Guangxi during the summer solstice in June. It is estimated that since 2009, almost 15,000 dogs were consumed during "festivities." Even though the festival started in 2009, eating dog meat is believed to be an ancient Chinese tradition. Chinese practitioners of folk medicine thought that dog meat is the best solution against summer heat, although there is no physiological or medical evidence to support it. During the 10-day festival, dogs (and also cats) are exhibited in metal cages and wooden crate before they are skinned, cooked, and eaten by visitors of the event. Not a big surprise why animal rights supporters fight against such a celebration.

Campaigners and activists of animal rights state that animals are treated abominably. Millions worlwide are joining the campaign to apply political pressure and end the festival. The Humane Society International collected 11 million signatures on a petition calling for China authorities to ban the event. A Chinese group called Beijing Mothers Against Animal Cruelty presented that petition to Yulin officials.

On the eve of the festival, many activists are protesting in China or in front of Chinese embassies, while hundreds of volunteers make an effort to stop the trucks transporting the dogs to the festival and rescue the animals. Activist groups in China can legally intercept dog meat trucks and confiscate dogs if the drivers don’t have paperwork proving that they own them. Some of the dogs turn out to be stolen pets and are returned to owners, others are available for adoption in China and other countries. A shelter from the state of New York took in 200 dogs, a San Diego rescue center took 18 dogs to Southern California, while the center in Massachusetts saved five animals. Thanks to international pressure the number of dogs slaughtered during Yulin Dog Meat Festival has dropped considerably, and there is hope the festival will be banned completely.

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