Stolen pet dogs are being slaughtered in their thousands for a “dog meat festival” in China which authorities claimed was banned last year.
Officials in Yulin, central China, stated that they had shut down the decades-old local festival after two million animal rights campaigners across the country demanded an end to the bloody tradition.
However, a secret investigation has uncovered that as many as 10,000 canines, many of whom still wearing collars having been stolen from their homes, are being taken to Yulin, in advance of the festival on June 22. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. With about a month to go before the festival traditionally begins, an HSI investigation found hundreds of newly-slaughtered dogs in the city on the market ready to be sold.
2. 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.
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”.
Some of the pets could barely stand in their enclosures, because they had suffered broken bones and severe wounds during the terrible journey.
3. 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 “banned” it.
4. 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.
5. The smell at a slaughterhouse just outside Dongkou (pictured) — where the internal organs of cats and dogs littered the ground — was “offensive”.
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.
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”.
6. And inside the unhygienic slaughterhouses, hundreds of dogs await a brutal and painful death.
7. Li (left) was so overcome by sadness at the conditions these animals were subjected to that he rescued two cats and two dogs.
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.
8. HSI visits Yulin ahead of a notorious dog meat festivals.
9. Animal rights activists fight against Yulin’s dog meat festival (related).
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