Puppies rescued from dog meat festival where animals are butchered and boiled

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Puppies rescued from dog meat festival where animals are butchered and boiled

Puppies destined for slaughter at a Chinese dog meat festival have been rescued at the 11th hour.

Activists saved 10 pups from being boiled and sold as meat at the annual Yulin festival, which starts this weekend.

Over 10,000 dogs have been killed for meat in previous years.

Horrifying new pictures show the puppies cramped into a small cage beside a blood-stained chopping board.

But now the pups are on their way to a shelter where they will be safe.

Most of the dogs killed for the meat trade in China are stolen pets, stolen guard dogs, as well as street dogs grabbed from towns and cities.

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The team suspected the puppies were stolen pets as they were all friendly and challenged the stall holder, who then agreed to give them up to avoid a public scene.

Jenifer Chen, who helped liberate the dogs and sent images and footage to animal rights group Humane Society International, said: “My hands were trembling when I took the first puppy out of the cage. He kept licking my hands, and unbeknown to him I could easily have been a dog meat eater.

“People often assume that these horrific scenes are normal for most Chinese people to see, but it’s just not true.

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“I was so upset to see the puppies under the sizzling hot summer sun, but I was happy that we were able to save them from the butcher’s club.”

Last month China’s Ministry of Agriculture took a big step in classifying dogs as pets and not livestock.

But the images from activists show traders butchering dog carcasses in defiance of the government’s new stance on dog meat.

Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist for Humane Society International, said: “Momentum is building in China to tackle the dog and cat meat trades, and while I don’t think anyone expects Yulin’s dog meat trade to close up overnight, what the activists witnessed could indicate that things are shifting even in Yulin.

“The cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai have hopefully started a trend by banning dog and cat meat, and the declaration by the national government that dogs are considered companions rather than livestock, provides a compelling incentive for other cities to follow suit.

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“With new cases of COVID-19 tied to a Beijing market, allowing mass gatherings to trade in and consume dog meat in crowded markets and restaurants in the name of a festival poses a significant public health risk.”

The 10-day festival has been running since 2009 and celebrates the summer solstice.

Some dogs, and also cats, who were going to be killed for meat have found forever homes in the UK.

  • HSI has a petition asking Yulin to be China’s next city to end dog and cat meat trade horrors, which you can sign here.

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