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article image10,000 dogs, and cats, cruelly killed at dog meat fest in China

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 17, 2015 in World
British comedian Ricky Gervais is among those appalled by the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, and he's asking for the public's support in ending it. Each year the fest kills some 10,000 dogs and almost as many cats by barbaric manners, before eating them.
Boosting dog meat sales
The festival goes on in June in Yulin, a prefecture city in the southern region of Guangxi province, and there's nothing to stop it. Eating animals such as dogs and cats is legal in China, and other Asian countries; indeed, traditionally these animals are considered appetizing.
However, while local government in Yulin previously supported the festival, it no longer does. The Humane Society International (HSI) said the festival is not a long-standing tradition but was begun only five years ago to increase dog meat sales.
Gervais released a statement last week asking people to contribute to the HSI to stop the slaughter.
"My friends at Humane Society International are working tirelessly to end this cruel trade all over Asia, and they desperately need your help," Gervais said. "I’ve seen the footage that HSI has captured on video, and it breaks my heart.
"I will never forget the look of bewilderment and fear on the faces of these poor animals — the dogs and cats await a horrible fate. No animal deserves to be treated like this."
Dog and cat killings
The government's backing away from the festival, now in full swing, is due to a combination of reasons. One is that many in China now have dogs as pets and are against eating them. Further, some animals consumed in the Yulin Dog Meat Festival are said to have been stolen from families. They are also killed violently with knives and kept in cages and small pens, watching others get slaughtered and awaiting their turn.
Worldwide, animal rights groups, some in China. are pressuring China to end the festival. A number of restaurants have responded in Yulin by taking dog meat off of their menu but the festival continues unabated.
This year there are animal rights advocates there and last week they bought some 200 dogs from vendors. One dog trader held a dog up with a rope around its neck and said he would strangle it if someone did not buy it. A Chinese woman paid him the equivalent of $55 to save its life.
“The threat of the dog trader...galvanized support of activists, but that’s just one factor,” Peter Li, a policy adviser for the HSI, told the New York Times. “The major factor is that more and more people in China believe dogs should not be food.”
Ricky Gervais is hoping we all agree.
More about yulin dog meat festival, eating dog meat, Ricky gervais, gervais and animal rights, Humane society international
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