A woman shared her terrifying experience at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and witnessed the gruesome killing and selling of canine meat in live markets in South East China.
Julia de Cadenet, a London-based lawyer and founder of the animal charity NoToDogMeat, documented the distressing actual events at the festival where dogs are killed and burned alive.
The festival marks the summer solstice and has been going since 2009, where dog meat is consumed for 10 days.
Dogs are reportedly stolen “with government-issued ID collars,” according to the fundraiser TotalGiving.
Despite the many footages online, the Yulin Festival organizers claimed that the dogs are humanely killed and are “no different from eating pork or beef.”
Animal rights activist Qin Xi Zhao, who runs the charity's largest shelter in Hebei, said that witnessing this cruelty “is the most devastating part” of his life.
“…and every year we see things which are so traumatic. But as a charity, we will not look away and will do all we can to help the dogs.”
Animal protection campaigners are bracing for the worst as the pandemic regulations have relaxed, inviting tourists to watch dogs being butchered and turned into stews and soups.
A month before the festival, the charity urged Western tourists to skip visiting the event.
Julia said in a statement with The Mirror, “This year is set to be bigger and nastier than in recent years.”
Julia works with locals in countries that have traditions of butchering, cooking, and eating dogs and cats, like China, Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
The Asia For Animals coalition says that it’s hard to estimate how many animals are killed each year at the festival.
However, it is believed that between 10,000 and 15,000 dogs are slaughtered at the event.
“Dog and cat meat is NOT part of China's mainstream food culture. Dog meat was not on the government's food rationing list in the past, nor is it on the list of meat guaranteed by China's strategic meat reserve,” the coalition adds.