In collaboration with Humane Society International (HSI), activists from Vshine, an official partner of HSI based in China, rescued 19 dogs from an illegal slaughterhouse near the city of Yulin.
The Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which started in 2010, continues to take place annually in Yulin during the summer solstice, leading to the slaughter of numerous dogs. Despite a decline in interest and changes in government indicating a lack of support for the festival, it persists.
On June 14, just a week before the scheduled start of the 2023 Yulin Dog Meat Festival, the rescue operation took place. HSI reported that the scene at the slaughterhouse was heart-wrenching.
“Our team encountered one of the most appalling and gruesome dog slaughterhouses we have ever witnessed. The dogs had recently arrived on a truck that morning, and we were devastated to discover that we had arrived too late to save five dogs who had already been killed,” said Teng, one of the activists involved in the rescue, in a statement.
The surviving dogs were found in a severely dehydrated, dirty, and matted condition, but they showed happiness upon seeing the rescuers.
“Most of the dogs greeted us eagerly, pawing at the cage bars for attention, while others were visibly subdued and traumatized. They are now safe and receiving the urgent medical care, food, water, and love they desperately need to recover from their terrifying ordeal. They were only moments away from being slaughtered for the Yulin markets,” Teng added.
After providing comfort to the dogs at the slaughterhouse, Vshine activists transferred them to clean cages and arranged for their transportation to veterinary care. Currently, three dogs are being looked after by a local animal group, while the remaining 16 dogs are in Vshine’s veterinary shelter in northern China. HSI is offering additional support to ensure that all 19 dogs regain their health and find suitable homes.
“We are immensely grateful to the Chinese activists for taking a stand against this horrendously cruel trade. The majority of people in China do not support this brutality, and surveys indicate that even in Yulin, most residents do not oppose a ban. It is time to put an end to this suffering,” stated Dr. Peter Li, HSI’s China policy specialist.
According to HSI, a survey conducted in early June showed that 19.3% of Yulin residents polled were against a ban on the dog meat trade, 70% believed a ban would have no or minimal impact on their lives, and 81% did not express objections to a ban when asked whether Yulin should follow the example of mainland Chinese cities like Shenzhen, which implemented a ban on the consumption of dog and cat meat in 2020.
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