In southern China, particularly in Guangxi and Guangdong provinces, dog meat dishes are not out of the ordinary. The city of Yulin hosts a dog meat festival every year. However, this event is not carried out with animal rights in mind.
On November 20 Humane Society International (HSI) UK announced that during the Yulin Meat Festival they rescued five dogs. The slaughterhouse they found the dogs in also had 130 other dogs who have been rescued and are living in Chinese animal shelters.
Of the five dogs that were rescued by HSI three have been adopted by British families. They are Lily, Rosie, and Harley. The other two, Coco and Fred, are being fostered by homes in the UK while they await adoption.
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When HSI found the dogs, they were in a slaughterhouse that kills an average of 100 dogs a day during the festival period. Talking about Lily, an official from HSI UK said,
“It was deeply moving, as though she knew we were her only hope to get out of that hell alive, so she didn’t take her eyes off us for a single second in case we left without her.”
WHAT IS THE YULIN DOG MEAT FESTIVAL?
The festival is held during the summer solstice to celebrate the change of seasons. Eating dog meat forms part of the celebration because people believe it will bring them good health and luck.
On average about 10 million dogs are eaten during the festival every year. Slaughterhouse owners mostly get dogs by stealing them from pet owners.
Despite the significance of the festival reports have shown that dog adoption is on the rise in China. As a result, the Yulin Meat Festival is getting smaller every year because there is growing opposition to it.
NORTH KOREAN VERSION
Dog meat dishes are not only found in southern China but also North Korea. This is especially popular in the summer months as there is a belief that dog meat will give those who eat it the strength to handle the heat.
There are specific farms for dogs who are slaughtered in time for the August heat, called sambok. These farms slaughter around 2 million dogs annually for sambok.
However, like in China, this practice is becoming less popular as the interest in dog ownership rises.