Police and animal activists in Shaanxi, China, have intercepted a red truck carrying 386 dogs destined for slaughter the day before Yulin’s dog meat festival.
Rescuers have saved hundreds of dogs set to be killed before arriving at Yulin’s dog meat ‘festival’ in China. Police worked with animal activists to block a truck with 386 distressed dogs in the sweltering heat.
The truck with Yulin license plates was spotted on the highway approximately 500 miles from the city, filled with small wire cages of dogs.
Horrible videos and photos released by global animal protection group Humane Society International (HSI) show the moment Shaanxi police pulled the truck over.
The activists have applauded Shaanxi police for their swift reaction and said that if all police took this zero-tolerance approach, China’s brutal dog meat trade would end.
“It was horrifying to see so many dogs in such an appalling state; it was like a truck from hell for these poor animals,” Lin Xiong, one of the activists at the scene, said.
“They had probably been on the truck for days, dehydrated and starving, many of them with visible signs of injury and disease.
Campaigners who have been involved in saving the dogs on board said they were of different sizes, breeds, and health conditions. They said they have likely stolen household guard dogs or pets, strays grabbed from the streets, or came from other unspecified sources without traceability.
After the police intervention over the weekend, the dogs were sent to be quarantined. However, Chinese activists told the Guardian that the dogs have now been handed over to Beijing’s Capital Animal Welfare Association after the traders signed an agreement to submit their ownership of the animals.
Peter Li, the China policy specialist at Humane Society International, a campaign group, said the Yulin authorities were “duped” by the traders who have falsely argued that dog meat consumption is “traditional” and part of the local dietary culture. “Dog meat consumption is supply-driven, driven by the traders, not consumer-driven. The dog slaughter in Yulin is commercial in nature, not cultural,” he said.
Li said that his team on the ground saw Yulin police trying to prevent business owners from making a show of the “festival.”
“Eaters from outside Guangxi used to be sizable before 2014. This group has gone down drastically, particularly since 2020. Most eaters are local, and the number has been dwindling.