Yulin Festival 2016

Dog meat eating has existed in China for more than 500 years, where it was once a traditional delicacy, it was however dramatically declined, but the festival has only taken place since 2009. Every year on 21 June marks the beginning of the time when humanity was slaughtered, shedding blood of the innocents.  The Lychee and Dog meat Festival, commonly regarded as the Yulin’s Dog Meat Festival, is being celebrated for the seventh time this year, despite of being symbolized as a disgrace over mankind and petitions signed in lakhs, pleading to let go off the faultless souls, who are howling in pain and dying with torture. “An estimated 10 million dogs are devoured across China each year, including around 10,000 that end up at the infamous Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which kicks off once again on June 21 in Yulin, Guangxi.”

A portion of this meat comes from kidnapping and forceful abduction of stray and pet dogs across various parts of the city. These are then transported in a crowded, brutal and unsanitary atmosphere, sometimes from unknown sources, only to arrive at the festival sick, dying or dead, according to CNN. China’s food safety administration bans selling meat from animals in these conditions. Prolonged exposure to unvaccinated dogs increases the chance of contracting the deadly diseases. Thus, the Yulin incidence of human rabies is most common among top ten cities of China, as reported. Hence, the Festival is criticized, to serve to be a threat to public health.

Why dog eating became a cultural practice in China?

Every culture has its culinary peccadilloes, and China has a long history of eating dogs, basically since 500 years ago, due to a belief of dog’s meat possessing medicinal qualities as their meat is supposed to stoke the body’s yang energy. Also, According to Chinese lore, eating dog meat stimulates ‘internal heat, making it a food that wards off winters’ cold’. But on the inaugural day to celebrate summer solstice, it’s a superstition that’s driving dog consumption : the meat is believed to bring good fortune and health. At Yulin, hotpots are fired up, lychees peeled and liquors poured with the dog meat served in good supply. Harbourers of such tradition, butcher over 10,000 dogs by celebrating this cruelty over 10 days.

Authorities in Yulin claim that the Festival does not exist!

Gathering huge media attention, with people from different parts of the world fulminated against this practice in China, authorities in Yulin have claimed in their official statement that there was no such festival held, but only a “small gathering of locals celebrating a cultural practice with consuming the dog meat”. Asking the government to intervene in between, they said that making a ban is not in their hands since it is conducted by private businessmen. Still believing in the power of morality over cruel, the petitions were addressed to the president, Xi Jinping seeking for justice of the nonsensical butchering of thousands of dogs. But, it seems like everything has fallen into deaf ears, as the ‘non-existent’ festival is celebrated this year as well, with nearly 10,000 lives being sacrificed in the name of traditional fallacies.

China doesn’t have an Animal Protection Law

A draft law was being proposed in 2009, to punish the animal abusers with a fine with hefty amount and detention over two weeks. But to date, the National Congress has not signed the law, it has a “yet to issue” statement on it. However, the experts had clearly mentioned that it was illegal to trade such animals, which are treated as ‘pets’ and ‘companions’ under the regulations passed by the Ministry of Agriculture, which had also asked the requirement of laboratory quarantine for animals before transportation, a practice that’s “rare to see,” animal rights lawyer An Xiang told China Daily. Even more, many dogs are stolen, abducted, raised in households, making dog trade difficult to document (there are also dog farms, too). With no options left, the activists had to buy dogs which were illegally abandoned by the local traders at a huge amount.

This year, 1000 dogs were saved by the adamant dog protectors

There was a silver lightening in the city where the humanity was doomed upon, as the animal rights activists and the dog lovers had ‘ruined the mood’ at the Yulin festival by rescuing nearly thousand of caged dogs which were to become a meal for the festival. Human Society International (HIS) along with others had been buying the caged dogs which were ill-treated at the hands of their slaughter-master and traders. However, they had faced problems while buying the dogs as the traders became suspicious about the motive of their  so-called ‘ buyers’ and many were not willing to sell their stock believing that it would defeat the purpose and kill the celebrations. Unfortunately, all the dogs could not be saved, which made many of them cry at the scene of such massacre, where blood of the innocent flowed and people had prey to the almighty to let these souls rest in peace and not take a rebirth as a animal again in a country, which is proud in its achievements but is helpless to favour the interests of their own citizens. Every victory shall be short-lived without a cultural change. It is high time to recognize that dogs are ‘friends’, oftenly regarded as ‘human companions’. How can you kill your own friends? The brutality has to stop.

Until, there is not adequate enforcement by the Government and the support of local authorities to show the rage against such disgraceful practice, China shall always live with a badge of dishonor, against its astounding conquests over the world.