Five ways the Yulin dog meat festival could end with your help

07 June 2016

Dogs in cage

The Yulin dog meat festival has become a focal point for animal lovers and media alike in the campaign to end dog meat eating. The festival and the trade can be stopped – here’s how.

Dogs jumbled in cages are on the way to the market, Yulin 2015

1. Stop the dog thieves:

We know that the vast majority of dogs consumed by the dog meat industry are snatched from the streets leaving a trail of heartbroken carers and distraught families. While such thefts are criminal, for arrest and conviction rates to go up it would require increased resources and a shift in priorities. But if the will was there, and the pressure was on, clamping down on the dog trade could become a priority for law enforcement. If that happened it might not only end Yulin dog meat festival - it could make the entire dog meat trade unsustainable.

Dogs in cage

2. Target their lack of paperwork:

The dog meat trade is characterised by criminality and cruelty and will cut every corner it can in order to maximise profits. Dogs are snatched, no vet care is provided, hygiene is non existent and neither, frequently, is the required paperwork. If the authorities can’t shut down the festival - because they can’t stop people gathering and eating - they could still make it very difficult for traffickers and traders to move, slaughter and serve up dogs.

Dog traders

3. China's increasing distaste for dog meat eating:

Recently nine million people voted online for a proposed law to make the eating of dogs and cats illegal. While, sadly, this suggested legislation has no direct route to becoming an actual law - it does show the depth of feeling in China. Last year saw the festival shrink considerably – from estimates of over 10,000 slaughtered dogs in recent years to around 1,000. The truth is China is losing its taste for dog meat and increasingly fewer people want to be part of an event like Yulin dog meat festival. While there is defiance from some - others would rather just give it a wide berth. At this rate the event could diminish to a point where there is no discernible ”festival” at all.

Dogs at market

4. A fight on all fronts:

The best way to end this festival is to do what we do 52 weeks a year – and that is concentrate our efforts on all of the above. Our reports have shown, beyond any doubt, that these dogs are not farmed – most are stolen domestic animals. Many are poisoned and their numbers are added to by strays snatched from the streets.

The reports have also shown local authorities the illegality and danger to health caused by criminal gang methods that make up so much of this industry. We have also shared this information with animal loving groups across China. This has assisted them to challenge traffickers and the law has come down on their side. It has all helped sway opinion and boost support among government and general public. Our work to raise awareness of the cruelty and health implications of eating dog meat never ends. And by doing all of the above we can...

Many dogs in captivity

5. Make dog meat eating illegal in China:

Together we can make this happen. No more dog meat eating. No more 10 million dogs slaughtered each year and any future Yulin festival would be dog meat free.

Please add your signature to our open letter to Yulin dog meat traders. You can also read more about our work to end China’s dog meat trade here.