Amid protest and criticism, the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival began on Tuesday in Yulin, Guanxi province in southern China. An event that celebrates the eating of dog meat, more than 10,000 dogs are expected to be slaughter during the 10-day festival.
In order to minimize the damage, the provincial government has disassociated from the event in 2014, forbidding its employees from attending and limiting its size by shutting down some dog markets and slaughter houses. According to the Guardian newspaper, after the country started regulating the dog meat trade, sales dropped by a third from 2013 to 2014.
According to Humane society international an animal protection organization, China’s dog meat trade also involves immense animal cruelty including poisoning to capture animals and beating them to death in slaughter houses and has been linked to outbreaks of rabies and cholera in humans.an online petition started by Duo Duo project asking the authorities to shut down the festival has gained more than 2.6 million signature on change.org.
Outrage over the event has spread all over the world where animal right groups stage protest against the festival in London, Washington DC, Toronto and people rallied in front of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. Celebrities such as Simon Cowell and Ricky Gervais has took to Twitter to expressed outrage over the festival.
Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation has released a PSA featuring Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix, Kate Mara, Alicia Silverstone, Alyssa Milano, and Pamela Anderson in hope to put an end to the dog eating festival.