Animal rights activists recently rescued dogs that were headed for the annual Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China (video below).
The Agence France-Presse reports that the festival officially began on June 21 with traders butchering dog meat, cooks frying up canine dishes, and sellers burning the hair off of dog carcasses.
Crowds of people stood in the rain outside popular dog meat restaurants, but animal rights advocates said that canine sales appeared to have dropped compared to 2016.
The AFP notes that thousands of dogs are killed at the festival. Animal welfare advocates have said the dogs are boiled alive and beaten under the false belief that the more scared a dog is, the more tasty it will be on a plate.
The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation posted a Facebook video on June 18 of some of their members rescuing dogs from a truck, and released a statement:
Rescued last night from a slaughterhouse on the edge of Yulin. These dogs were being clubbed in the face, and skinned alive right in front us. In the end we made the decision to save them. To spare the surviving - the fate of having to die from torture.
The group released a second video of their activists surrounding a truck filled with caged live dogs on June 19, accompanying it with a statement:
We are live in Yulin, day before the festival. We surrounded and intercepted a truck. Cats and dogs on top - dying! We are trying to get the dogs and cats released. The situation is tense. Police are working with the traders, and against us in regards to helping the animals, and successfully taking over the truck.
(Note: We have a transport team that left once police came and traders starting threatening them. In the end it was just me and Suki, refusing to leave until the dogs were safe. Police and traders blocked our way, and let the truck drive off with the dogs and cats screaming for liberation.)
The organization released a video on YouTube on June 20 of their activists releasing the animals from their tiny cages.
The Humane Society International released a statement on June 20 on Facebook:
After a 10-hour standoff with a dog meat truck, HSI’s partner group activists successfully assisted the police in stopping a truck transporting more than 800 dogs and some cats in Guangzhou, China, the world’s largest hub for dog/cat meat consumption. The animals are now safe and being unloaded by the activists. Please stay tuned for updates.
Sources: Agence France-Presse via Channel NewsAsia, The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation/Facebook (2), Humane Society International/Facebook, The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation/YouTube / Photo credit: ByeByeBaby/Wikimedia Commons