Activists with Humane Society International (HSI) rescued 10 puppies ahead of the Yulin Dog Festival on June 17. According to HSI, dog stalls were in shops around Nanchao, close to Yulin. And HSI was able to rescue some animals.

China recently passed a law that dogs should not be considered livestock. But many in Yulin still participate in the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The festival is the weekend of June 20-21.

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In an emailed statement, Dr. Peter Li, China policy specialist at HSI said, “Momentum is building in China to tackle the dog and cat meat trades, and while I don’t think anyone expects Yulin’s dog meat trade to close up overnight, what the activists witnessed could indicate that things are shifting even in Yulin. The cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai have hopefully started a trend by banning dog and cat meat, and the declaration by the national government that dogs are considered companions rather than livestock, provides a compelling incentive for other cities to follow suit. I do hope Yulin will change not only for the sake of the animals, but also for the health and safety of its people. With new cases of COVID-19 tied to a Beijing market, allowing mass gatherings to trade in and consume dog meat in crowded markets and restaurants in the name of a festival poses a significant public health risk.”

See video footage from the festival in past years:

One of the activists that rescued the puppies, Jenifer Chen said in an emailed statement, “I couldn’t believe that these friendly and innocent puppies would be killed for food if we hadn’t been there by chance, and I can’t believe that anyone would even want to eat these adorable little darlings. This was my first trip to Yulin and what I saw at the market really shocked me. My hands were trembling when I took the first puppy out of the cage. He kept licking my hands, and unbeknown to him I could easily have been a dog meat eater. People often assume that these horrific scenes are normal for most Chinese people to see, but it’s just not true. I was so upset to see the puppies under the sizzling hot summer sun, but I was happy that we were able to save them from the butcher’s club. Like the Chinese government said, these puppies are companions not livestock, and cities like Yulin should put those words into practice and end this shameful dog meat trade.”

See video footage captured by HSI,

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Read more about Yulin in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

Sign this petition to end the Yulin Dog Meat Festival!

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