The Barbaric Yulin Dog Meat Festival Must Come to an End Once and For All

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The Yulin Dog Meat Festival is fast approaching.  We must put pressure on Chinese officials to enact effective changes in procedure and law enforcement to stop this horrific event from taking place once and for all.

The United States’ position on the dog and cat meat trade, and the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in particular, is clear and unequivocal: dogs and cats should not be killed for the consumption of their meat. In December 2018, the United States banned the dog and cat meat trade.  Inroads into the banning of this cruel and senseless commerce have also been made in parts Asia.

Taiwan recently took the monumental step of banning both the consumption of dog and cat meat and the overall trade in such meat.  Significantly, Taiwan is also home to an international alliance that is championing the push to ensure all Asian countries outlaw these senseless and cruel practices in the region. Indeed, Hanoi, Vietnam is also taking action, progressively banning the trade of dog and cat meat in its central districts.

Although these measures and efforts are important, we must continue to press China to stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. We proudly stand with the millions of people across the globe and in China, who wish to see this festival come to an end.  The Chinese government would be wise to join our efforts and institute a complete ban of the dog and cat meat trade.

The Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China dates back to 2009-2010, when it was launched by dog meat traders as a commercial enterprise to boost flagging sales. We find it completely outrageous that even though the Yulin city government withdrew as a sponsor of the Dog Meat Festival, Yulin authorities and the Chinese government failed to take any meaningful action to bring an end to this festival. The event celebrates the wholesale torture of dogs and is an abhorrent display of animal cruelty.

During this barbaric festival, dogs are burnt, skinned, or boiled alive, have their paws cleaved off while conscious, and are staked to the ground and beaten to death. No one can see these images and walk away unaffected. Based on the work of animal activist groups, the number of dogs slaughtered at the festival has be reduced, but still far too many are suffering barbaric torture and death. In fact, even with the decrease of dogs slaughtered at the Yulin festival, there are still about 10 million dogs killed annually in China for the dog meat trade.  It is absolutely shameful that this festival and others like it still continue.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank the countless activists who continue their tireless fight every single day in order to save and protect the voiceless and powerless animals across the globe. The Vanderpump Dog Foundation is on the ground 365 days a year with our two shelters and almost 500 dogs saved from the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. We see first hand the progress and are hopeful that we will be able to end the celebration of consuming our best friends. We must continue to shed light on the horrific treatment of the many animals that fall prey to China’s dog meat trade.

Our efforts transcend cultural differences, party lines, state borders, and political stances. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, this cause must be everyone’s cause. With the might of the American government behind us, we can continue to put pressure on Chinese officials to enact much needed changes. Many humane courses of action are already available throughout China. With regular monitoring and enforcement, we hope that one day soon will finally see the elimination of the cruel Yulin Dog Meat Festival.