What are you waiting for? Stop Yulin Festival!

February 9, 2015 6:41 pm

Some people have never heard about YuLin Dog Meat Festival. The interview is just one small part of their reality and please use your voice to #StopYulin2015 .

If we have sometimes lazy governments, lazy politicians we do not have to be lazy, if some people put their earnings above all, again we do not have do the same.

Thank you Christine Snow and #StopYulin2015 Team for this interview!

f2b96bb9-687a-4135-b0b2-fab99de5ed78 He is really a rich and brave man?

Can you tell us a little more about the Yulin festival, when it started, how many dogs and cats are killed by now?  

The food festival as we know it began as a huge promotion by Guangxi Media in 2010 – the local government turned it into a public holiday and tourists were encouraged to the region. Crispy Dog was to be eaten accompanied by lychee wine on Summer Solstice (21st June) it very quickly became popular after false health benefits were created. Prior to this, dog and cat eating was more of a fringe activity in local villages in and around Yulin and other areas of China.

The figures for dogs and cats eaten during the festival varies with whichever group you ask. The #stopyulin2015 group go with the majority who say 10,000 dogs and 4,000 cats are eaten during a week; some say as few as 2,000 dogs were eaten last year and others claim 40,000 dogs and 10,000 cats.


According to legend eating dog meat dispels ghosts and disease and has been used to treat impotence…is health awareness in Yulin in such a low level?

Not only are the older generations brainwashed into believing dog and cat meat improves blood flow and therefore cures impotence, diabetes and kidney function also it keeps you warm in winter if eaten during summer and winter solstice. BUT the younger generation who have concerns for health are being educated in Traditional Chinese Medicine through university and publications which continue to say dog and cat meat cures many ills and those who profit from the trade will also reinforce so called health benefits.

It is more than obvious that a sellers of dog meat  lying to their customers and the media. They steal dogs , they selling sick dogs and cats, they do not care about anything except money. Why can’t the Yulin government do anything about it or they do not want to stop it?

The Government are voicing concern and putting measures in place somewhat half heartedly to pacify objectors. They have put up posters in large dog meat restaurants asking people to be careful eating publicly and to check the source. Government officials and medical staff are forbidden to eat dog meat during June (why would this be necessary y if they believe it’s safe?) They have officials checking trucks and paperwork entering Yulin on the main roads (however not enough staff are available and there are reports of corruption and motorbikes with dogs on board using country lanes to gain access.) They have asked restaurants to tape over signs stating dog meat is served during June.

This festival brings much money to the region so there is an obvious reluctance to cancel it.

23sino-dog01-tmagArticle Animals treated with respect and kindness? No. In their eyes you will never be tall (big) enough…

We can hear some excuses like “SO WHAT IF WE ARE EATING DOG MEAT, SOME PEOPLE ARE EATING BEEF“ , why is that?

When criticized, many people get defensive and deny a problem exists which is a common avoidance tactic. They are not taking into consideration the theft and poisoning of people’s pets, the trade being a free source when these animals are trapped; the disease risks of eating carnivores, passing viruses into the human food chain, parasites and diseases. The poison from darts used to capture dogs can have an accumulative effect with catastrophic effects to the human body.


Some people selling also their pets, how much economic situation lead to this?

Sadly pet ownership in China is relatively new. Some people are buying dogs as status symbols or accessories, changing them with fashion or if illness sets in and replacing them. Many unsold pets make it into the meat trade due to puppy farm style breeding. Some people regard dogs as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme and rid themselves of pets to the trade.

Who controls Yulin Festival?

The Government officials within embassies deny any Government involvement. The Guangxi food festival appears to have a hand in promoting dishes (Dog and cat meat is not within their top 20 recommendations this year however, it is still available!) It appears to be every businessman for himself – lots of stalls, markets spread out within quite a large region.

The government of Yulin city has denied that it supports or sponsors the festival, saying the event was invented by businesses and local people and the Yulin Festival is not an official holiday.  Yet, they are still culpable.

How much animal organization can help and are they helping enough?

Many organizations claim involvement, some align with the Chinese volunteers who make contact with them, forwarding pictures and information. There’s several well known objectors who run their own sanctuaries, Xiaoyun Yang, Du YuFeng and Yuhua Yang.

Peter Li from HSI has been in Yulin to report for several years and last year Andrea Gung From Duo Duo animal welfare project joined him and they bought some golden puppies from traders. Shandai who helps TACN, carries out research, as does Act Asia who also attended conferences with Lawyers in June for the last 2 years. Katayama the bowing performance artist has attracted much needed publicity to the cause for the last few years, as did the Buddhist Monks saying prayers in the dog market last year. Quite a few Chinese animal protection groups and vets protested with lots of selfies and banners last year – V.shine org have many young people happy to help with banners, the Ta foundation encouraged people to protest on social media last year also. Animals Asia have provided campaign banners to some Chinese Protesters in the past. Tacn official campaigned and protested at Government offices last year too and NoToDogMeat have encouraged campaigning outside Chinese embassies the world over and forwarded petitions to ambassadors for the last two festivals.

Some organizations are very encouraged by the number of animal welfare groups springing up in China and appear to be saying ‘Let the Chinese progress at their own pace’ however Chinese activists in contact with us respond with “We’ve been trying for years for change and animal protection laws – our Governments won’t listen to us – if the West/Europe can shame the Government, maybe it’ll happen quicker.” The rising concerns about health risks from scientific research is an issue which prompts us to encourage faster action to get this stopped before world health is compromised. Not only is Rabies a concern but the Ebola scandal (started by bats which are eaten by cats and dogs!) and the SARS virus (started in birds which are also consumed by dogs and cats), the poisonous metal accumulative effect in the organs of carnivores (bio magnification) and the lesions to internal organs caused by parasites are a huge concern to us, along with animal welfare and eliminating senseless cruelty.  We are so very keen to stop the dog and cat consumption at this festival, so of course, with the passion and enthusiasm within our group, we would always wish for more money from charities who raise funds for the dog and cat meat trade and also from businesses profiting in China be spent on warning and educating all the people of Yulin about these health risks.

Are people from all around the world introduced with the festival?

Not enough people know of the festival. We aim to let everyone on social media know! The more people protesting, the stronger our actions. Politicians elected by the public and acting for the public will feel pressured into doing something positive to stop barbaric behaviour towards animals throughout the world especially when the realize the truth behind the trade in dogs and cats.

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It is important to say that there are also local activists who are doing everything they can to protect the animals, are activists in Yulin protected enough?

The activists who protest in Yulin are ridiculed but do not appear to suffer from physical harm (unless they are bitten by a dog they are trying to rescue, which has happened in the past) and are not prosecuted or penalized by Government as long as they abide by the laws. Many will rescue by paying for a quota of dogs and cats and collect donations without bother.

How to #StopYulin forever , is that possible?

Pressure is needed on Governments. They need to know the truth – people are frightened to visit Yulin when they see the violence that innocent dogs and cats are subjected to. This festival is causing long term damage to Yulin and their financial income through tourism will be greatly reduced in the future as more people are made aware. Although the slogan is #stopyulin2015 – we simply want dogs and cats off the menu – the health risks alone should be convincing enough to Joe public. It is highly inappropriate to have a festival that parties and celebrates the torture and death of a trusting loyal animal. Western and European businesses stationed In China have a responsibility to inform employees of health risks of carnivore consumption and encourage compassion. Many Western and European teachers to the region should feel a duty to encourage kindness to living beings and health concerns in their interactions with pupils. With a huge number of Vegans in China, there is already compassion there but with no animal protection laws or consequences for cruel actions, these people are powerless, oppressed and overwhelmed by trying to protect animals, they deserve rewards however the dog and cat meat thieves. Traffickers and traders are the ones who make the huge sums of money.

When did you decide to start this action and why?

A concerned group of us throughout the world have been fighting this trade as individuals and charity supporters on social media (some for months and some for years). We thought collective actions and working together as a group would give better results for the animals and that a focus on one aspect of the trade is cancelling Yulin Festival could be achievable and the tip of the ice burg in ending this trade.

We united as a group after Yulin Festival 2014 ended and the Facebook page and Twitter account were launched in August. We have hardworking translators involved working behind the scenes now.10363827_760739627326084_71962750230172834_n

We are not a charity and we are not about self promotion of individuals within the team. We are volunteers who take time from our busy lives to do what we can collectively to alleviate the suffering for cats and dogs of Yulin and reinforce what Chinese animal lovers want and are powerless to achieve.

We were conscious that during winter months, media remain quiet about the Yulin festival and we have been determined to keep up momentum of media attention via social media all year round to rally enough support prior to May/June when the festival preparations are in place.

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