Path:Sino-US›› focusnews››
Guangxi dogged by rage over dog meat festival

Residents of a small city in southern China plan to hold an annual dog-meat festival on Friday amid intense criticism from animal rights groups, which have denounced the one-day event as unsafe and inhumane.

Residents of Yulin in Guangxi province consider the festival an ancient summer solstice tradition. Many cherish their city's dog-meat culture, which involves the mass consumption of dog-meat hotpot served with lychees and strong grain liquor.

Animal rights groups say 10,000 dogs are slaughtered during the festival each year, and that many are electrocuted, burned and skinned alive. Pictures posted online show flayed dogs, dogs hanging from meat hooks, and piles of dog corpses on the side of the road. In China dog meat is prized as a nutritious wintertime dish that doctors can prescribe to treat maladies such as impotence and poor circulation.

 

Dog meat being prepared for sale in Yulin, Guangxi province. Photo: Rex Features

Activists have tried to block the event on numerous occasions through open letters and street protests. Some have implored the UK and US governments to interfere with the festival via online petitions. "Please help us stop the Yulin Festival of eating dogs in Guangxi province. It is bloody and disregards life," a petition on the US White House website was titled.

"They use knives to kill the dogs which are alive," it said, according to the South China Morning Post. "Then people would like to burn the dogs, which are conscious, so they can eat them." The petition was recently taken down because it failed to meet the 100,000 signature threshold required to elicit a response from the Obama administration.

Efforts to block the festival, recruitment of celebrities to condemn the practice and petitioning to the US White House have angered some Yulin locals.

A Yulin resident, who identified herself as Annie, said she would defend the festival as it was part of Yulin's tradition.

"It's unfair to call Yulin people brutal only because we have this tradition to eat dog meat. People who call us uncivilised and cruel should stop eating meat first," said Annie.

Du Yufeng, who works for a Sichuan-based animal protection organisation, said she saw slaughtered dogs on sale in several wet markets in Yulin yesterday. "The massive dog killing is going to start very soon, as it usually take several days for the dog meat dealers to prepare for the one-day festival," she said.

Chinese diners tuck into dog-meat hotpot in a restaurant in Yulin, Guangxi province. Photo: Rex Features

According to an open letter by the Hong Kong-based NGO Animals Asia, many of the dogs consumed during the festival are strays and abductees. Some are transported to the city on filthy, overcrowded trucks, significantly increasing the risk that they carry rabies and other contagious diseases. Yulin officials claim that the dogs are raised by local farmers.

"Stolen dogs without quarantine certificates are cruelly slaughtered and sold to restaurants at very low prices," Master Huici, assistant director of the Hebei Buddhism Charity Foundation, told the state-run Global Times newspaper.

Yulin officials did not pick up the phone on Tuesday afternoon, outside of working hours.

Officials in Zhejiang province cancelled a similar dog meat festival in 2011 following an online campaign.

Last month Chinese border officials seized 213 bear paws – an expensive ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine – and arrested two Russian citizens for trying to smuggle them into the country in vehicle tyres.


Explore Hunan Promote Hunan
Related Stories
Share this page
Touched Sympathetic Bored Angry Amused Sad Happy No comment
Column Map
About us

Rhythm Media Group is a multi-media company, operating a US-based Chinese daily newspaper, The China Press, and the paper's website - uschinapress.com (which has mobile-app version), as well as a Beijing-based English website Sino-US.com. The group boasts 15 branch offices across the US, and a number of cultural centers focusing on culture-related business in the North America, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Launched in September 2012, the Sino-US.com is designed to serve as a bridge between China and the US, and to keep its readership inside or outside China better informed by providing news and insights on China's current affairs, culture, life, business, people and sports.

Our Partners

About us - Contact us - Copyright - Terms of use - Privacy policy

Copyright © 2012 www.sino-us.com All Rights Reserved

京公网安备11010802011260