Business is booming at the Yulin dog meat festival where hundreds of stolen pets are already being slaughtered and served, ahead of the launch on Sunday.
Officials in Yulin, central China, had stated that they had shut down the decades-old local festival after two million animal rights campaigners from across the country demanded an end to the bloody tradition.
However, shocking pictures taken earlier this week show how a new batch of cats and dogs, stuffed into filthy wire cages, was brought into Yulin. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Images taken in Yulin earlier this week show cats crammed so tightly into cages they can barely move, ahead of the annual meat festival on Sunday.
2. The dogs who arrived in Yulin earlier this week (pictured) will be bludgeoned over the head and have their throats cut open before they are thrown into vats of boiling water.
Lines reportedly already stretch outside restaurants such as the 300-seat Yulin No. 1 Crispy Dog Meat, which sells the newly-slaughtered canines and felines to hungry customers for around $3 per pound.
Pictures show how the lifeless bodies of freshly killed dogs are piled up on the streets outside slaughterhouses, ready to be sold.
Some of the animals die during the long truck journeys from various parts of China, while many others suffer terrible injuries before being transferred to the filthy pens.
The ones who do survive are bludgeoned over the head and get their throats cut open before being thrown into boiling water.
3. The cats (pictured earlier this week), whose meat will eventually be sold for about $3 per pound, are crammed so tightly into cages they can barely move.
4. The Yulin No.1 Crispy Dog Meat restaurant (pictured) has covered up the word “dog” to avoid attention from the protesters who descend on the city near the Summer Solstice festival.
Xing Hai, Secretary General of the Vshine Small Animal Protection Association, who took the terrible images earlier this week, said:
The butcher then plucks all the hair, removes all the organs and puts the dog on the grill.
You tell the chef how you want it to be cooked, they will do it… There are many ways to cook dog meat just as one would cook pork in China. For example, braised dog meat in soy sauce, dog casseroles, deep-fried crispy dogs.
There are three to four big dog meat restaurants in Yulin such as the one called Yulin No. 1 Crispy Dog Meat and each of these restaurants can seat 200 to 300 customers.
I came to Yulin last year to campaign against the festival, I feel this year the business is getting better… I just came out from the local food market and there were queues outside of dog meat restaurants.
5. The bloodied carcasses of dogs were piled up in the streets outside slaughterhouses in Yulin last night.
6. After being unloaded from trucks which have traveled to Yulin from all over China, the trapped animals (pictured earlier this week) are simply left out on the street.
7. Once they are boiled, the dogs (pictured earlier this week) are grilled and sold in restaurants which can seat as many as 300 customers.
A secret investigation had uncovered earlier this month that as many as 10,000 canines, many of whom still wearing collars having been stolen from their homes, were being taken to Yulin, in advance of the festival on June 22.
Many of the dogs die from shock, starvation and dehydration during the journey itself. Those who do make it alive to the city are then either beaten to death or have their throats cut in street markets and illegal slaughterhouses, animal rights campaigners found out.
Humane Society International (HSI) carried out an investigation after it was alerted to thousands of pet animals still being inhumanely killed in the city.
Despite official claims that the festival had been shut down, HSI’s Peter Li found hundreds of freshly-slaughtered dogs, impaled on spikes, as well as cats stuffed into tiny wire cages so tightly that “they could not breathe”.
8. The chefs in three or four huge restaurants can braise the dogs (pictured earlier this week) in soy sauce, put them in a casserole or deep fry them.
9. Earlier this month, an HSI investigation found hundreds of newly-slaughtered dogs in the city on the market ready to be sold.
10. Once they arrive in Yulin, the dogs are beaten to death before their meat is sold at the annual festival held on June’s summer solstice.
Some of the pets could barely stand in their enclosures, because they had suffered broken bones and severe wounds during the terrible journey.
Li learned that local slaughterhouses had been instructed to only kill the dogs during the night and restaurants had been told to remove the words “dog meat” from their menus, so as to cover up the festival’s existence. Li told The Daily Mail:
Mass dog slaughter is still going on at Yulin despite the local authorities trying to give the impression that’s it’s ended.
The Yulin government has declared the “festival” will not happen, but this is mere semantics and thousands of dogs will still die for their meat whether it’s called a festival or not.
11. An investigation found one of China’s bloodiest “meat festivals” — where thousands of stolen cats and dogs are slaughtered — will still go ahead in the city of Yulin (pictured), even though the local government had “banned” it.
12. HSI said that the dogs’ throats are cut open while they are still alive. Many of the dogs and cats on sale are thought to be domestic pets snatched off the streets.
13. The smell at a slaughterhouse just outside Dongkou (pictured) — where the internal organs of cats and dogs littered the ground — was “offensive”.
Li was alarmed at the horrific conditions in which the dogs were being killed and said that the smell at one slaughterhouse, at the “end of slaughter process”, was “offensive”.
Horrified at the sorry sight of the animals at the slaughterhouse, Li rescued two dogs and two cats from the terrible fate that awaited them.
The rescued animals are now recovering from their terrible injuries at a shelter, but thousands of other less fortunate ones are about to be slaughtered while still alive, for their meat to be sold at Yulin’s markets.
About 20 million dogs are being killed for food every year in China’s dog meat trade.
Chinese legends hold that eating dog meat dispels evil ghosts and disease and can even enhance men’s sexual performance, The South China Morning Post reports.
14. HSI visits Yulin ahead of a notorious dog meat festivals.
15. Animal rights activists fight against Yulin’s dog meat festival (related).
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