Star Wars actress ‘Princess Leia’ Carrie Fisher joined animal loving celebrities & MP’s on June the 7th in order to present a petition created by Humane Society International and containing almost 12 million signatures to The Chinese Embassy in London, requesting an end to the gruesome annual Yulin dog & cat eating festival in China.
Carrie was joined by actress Jenny Seagrove, singer Sandi Thom, wildlife presenter Anneka Svenska, dog behaviourist Victoria Stilwell, Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson and TV vet Marc Abraham. MP Rob Flello attempted to deliver the petition, but to everyone’s shock, the Chinese Embassy door stayed firmly shut. Two heavily armed guards were posted outside.
Sadly the number of signatures almost matches the amount of dogs and cats killed annually every June, when millions of animals are snatched ruthlessly off the streets of China, some pets wearing their collars, crushed into chicken crates and transported hundreds of miles without food or water to their torturous end in Yulin. When they arrive, they are traded off to vendors who have been known to extend the length of death by causing pain to the animals in a bid to release adrenalin which is said to tenderise the meat. Photos of horrors on the internet are shared regularly showing dogs being boiled alive, fur burn off while concious, skinned alive, beaten over the head with metal hooks and throat slitting with dull blades.
Marc Ching of The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation has travelled out to Yulin before and has written on his website that he has witnessed crucified dogs nailed to walls, as well as animals left to die slowly in a loose noose so as to induce fear and panic, he has seen vendors who casually skin victims alive while smoking cigarettes and chatting like its an every day job. Dogs can be seen wagging tails to the bitter end, as they have been raised as much loved pets in households around China. Marc Ching is out in Yulin again this year and HSI have offered to support his work.Last year, The Chinese Government washed their hands of any named association with the festival, however have not actively tried to shut it down, so the festival carries on as normal. Until the Government bans it or we see a change in people’s attitudes in China, we will not be seeing an end to this festival. There is good news though, as a growing amount of animal activists in China is on the rise with many citizens stopping bikes and trucks carrying crushed dogs and cats in order to liberate the victims. Hope lays with the younger generations, as a great swathe of animal lovers grow to replace the older generations, who find it hard to empathise with this violent belief system.
To highlight why the Yulin festival should be banned by China, HSI revealed five key facts about the annual slaughter:
1. It’s not a traditional festival, it was only invented in 2010 by dog traders to boost profits;
2. Before the festival started, Yulin had no history of mass dog slaughter and consumption;
3. Every year, 30 million dogs are killed across Asia for their meat, some 10-20 million in China alone, and thousands die just for Yulin;
4. The World Health Organisation warns that the dog trade spreads rabies and increases the risk of cholera 20-fold;
5. Dog meat is only eaten by no more than 20 per cent of the Chinese population.
Despite the petition not being accepted by the London branch of the Chinese Embassy, Humane Society International are standing strong and exclaim that the petition will be posted off immediately to the London embassy and the original will be presented to The Chinese Government directly by an HSI representative.
Photos: Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation and Neil P. Mockford
‘Eating Friends’ Film Below – a Short documentary of The Yulin Festival and the petition hand in by GreenWorldTV