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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Yulin Dog Meat Festival and The Philippine Connection

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“If it has feelings, why hurt it, kill or eat it? Why not just care for it? Surely caring for a life is life’s natural therapy. Living cruelty free is easy, great for your health and your soul.” -The late John R. Hughes, co-founder of NoToDogMeat (NTDM) campaign.

The dreaded festival of dog meat eating in Yulin, Guangxi, China was held and ended last week –June 29– despite the fact China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has declared that “…dogs have been ‘specialized’ to become companion animals, and internationally are not considered to be livestock, and they will not be regulated as livestock in China.”

Contrary to the claim of some international groups, Julia De Cadenet, co-founder of the NoToDogMeat (NTDM) campaign, said NTDM has live videos from China showed that the attendance of dog meat-consuming patrons in Yulin this year did not dwindle at all. She added that she did not see other foreign activists in the main town where the open rows of dog meat stalls and eateries lined up the main streets.

The late John Hughes campaigning in the streets of London. He saved thousands of dogs from being slaughtered by dog meat traders in the Philippines and set up the Dogs Mountain Sanctuary in La Union.

Julia’s group was able to rescue four Yulin-bound dogs, stressing in one of her live videos that it is not possible to save live dogs from the main town since most of the displayed dogs there are torched carcasses. Julia added that the locals can easily identify the “political disruptors,” a tag they gave to the foreign activists, and international and domestic advocates. They actually followed her around and confiscated her camera.

The “torture festival,” according to the NoToDogMeat campaigner, butchered more than 10, 000 mixes of strays and stolen pets within 10 days of the event starting from June 21 to serve the thousands of Chinese dog meat eaters.

Shenzhen and Zhuhai, cities from Guandong province which is a neighbor province of Guangxi where Yulin is located, have imposed bans on dog and cat meat consumption. This led to the assumption that dog meat eaters from both cities have flocked to Yulin to eat dog meat, casting a shadow on the claim that attendance this year has decreased.

The UK charity, The World Protection for Dogs and Cats in the Meat Trade, launched the NoToDogMeat movement and, for 11 years now, have held protests after protests in China and all over the world against the “horrific cruelty” to dogs and sometimes even cats.

Julia De Cadenet with Felicity and Annabell, both Samoyed dogs rescued from the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, attending a TV guesting in London.

Within the week of NTDM’s vigilance in China, the team intercepted a truck delivering dogs to Yulin but, unfortunately, most of the dogs were already dead. The carcasses of the dogs are blowtorched, butchered, cooked, and served. The Yulin Dog Meat Torture Festival, said NTDM, is not only animal cruelty but also blatantly unsanitary. NTDM stressed that the majority of dogs they saved were infected with contagious diseases.

The Philippines has been indirectly involved in the movement against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival through the efforts of the late John R. Hughes. He was an Englishman who settled in the country and was credited as the founder of the NoToDogMeat campaign. In 2006, Hughes established the Dogs Mountain sanctuary in Naguilian, La Union, where his ashes are lovingly kept there.

John Hughes’s legacy lives on through Julia De Cadenet, a British co-founder, who bravely went to a dog market in China and took video footages showing the cruel treatment of dogs being openly sold for their meat. Together with her team, they were able to rescue four Yulin-bound dogs and are making every possible effort to rehabilitate and bring to the UK the pitiful dogs. They run a sanctuary with 700 rescued dogs in China.

About the Author:

Greg Salido Quimpo played a big part in the rescue of thousands of slaughter-bound dogs in the country. Together with a group of British and Filipino advocates, he significantly advanced the awareness on animal welfare in the Philippines. He is currently a consultant to the UK’s NoToDogMeat movement.

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