The #Yulin Festival is known because of the controversies it sparks among people especially animal welfare activists. The festival centers on stalls and restaurants serving different dog meat dishes and festival goers eating them along with lychees. The festival itself is not a cultural pillar as it started fairly recently in 2009. There are reports that dog meat traders were behind the festival to increase sales.

How Yulin Festival is seen by the locals

To the locals of Yulin City, Guangxi, China, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is seen as a tradition that brings together many people to their city.

It increases trade and also income for locals and as such. They hold a conflict of interest against animal rights and animal welfare activists. However, in other parts of #China, there are locals who have never tried dog meat or know about the festival.

The negative stigma of the Yulin Festival

Since the festival started, it has received negative press even with a petition garnering 11 million signatures to stop the festival back in 2016. What makes this festival inhumane is not the act of eating dog meat in itself but the torture that the dogs are subjected to before slaughter. It is a tradition to torture dogs before slaughter because of the belief that the adrenaline rush gives dog meat a better flavor.

One other factor is that dog slaughterhouses are not controlled. As such, the sanitary precautions that should be taken may or may not be observed. This is enough to think that the festival has much room for improvement.

Where do they get the dogs?

Each year, approximately 15,000 dogs are slaughtered for the festival that lasts for 10 days.

Some animal activists believe that some of these dogs might be stolen pets. In an effort to rescue as many dogs as possible, the animal rights association #Animal Hope and Wellness microchipped several pets prior to the festival. According to Marc Ching, the founder of Animal Hope and Wellness, they hope to check trucks for stolen pets.

“We will stop trucks, scanning the dogs for microchips. Our foundation has microchipped thousands of dogs in the last few weeks in dog-stealing areas, hoping to find stolen dogs on board the trucks as we intercept them. We’ll be asking police to enforce the law, theft of stolen property,” said Ching, who is planning to be on the frontlines of the festival. They hope to return stolen dogs to their owners and prevent them from being served on stalls as dog meat.