Animal lovers rejoiced last month at reports – including one from That’s – that the infamous Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, known more commonly as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, was facing a namesake-damaging ban on dog meat. Today we can report it seems the festival – and the serving of dog – will go ahead unimpeded.
The 10-day annual celebration is set to begin tomorrow in the Guangxi prefecture-level city of Yulin and, based on a video provided to us by activists in the area, it appears that a considerable number of canines have already been slaughtered in preparation.
Below is a video allegedly shot in Yulin this week that shows dozens of cooked dogs being prepared for serving (VPN off):
Initial reports of a ban on dog meat sales stemmed from a widely cited May 17 press release from the Humane Society and Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project (DDAWP). The document stated that restaurants, street vendors and market traders would be prohibited from selling dog meat ahead of the festival.
The ban was reported at the time to have been initiated by Yulin's new Party Secretary, Mo Gong Ming, and was supposed to go into effect on June 15. If the video above is authentic, it would appear the ban was never enforced – or possibly fictional from the get-go.
On a positive note, some dogs have been saved on the way to slaughter. The video clip below shows dogs destined for the dinner plate being rescued in Guangzhou's Baiyun District (VPN off):
Guangzhou-based animal rights activist Mindi Dryer told That’s that the video above is authentic and was shot in the past 24 hours. Several other activists we spoke with were also able to confirm the video and photos included below are real.
“I can guarantee that volunteers from Guangzhou went and rescued them [the dogs] last night,” she said. “I can’t be certain that they were headed to Yulin because I wasn’t there to hear the conversation.”
Dryer also told us that the festival “is definitely still happening.”
An activist who was involved in the rescue said that today the animals will be separated by gender, tested and organized by their level of health
Sadly, not all the dogs were removed from the truck alive
The highly controversial festival is held annually in Yulin as a way to observe the summer solstice, it’s key attributes include serving dog meat dishes and strong lychee alcohol. An estimated 10,000 canines are slaughtered each year for the event and animal rights groups have regularly intervened over concerns of animal cruelty.
[Images and video via WeChat]