The Controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival Inspires Shock and Criticism
Around 10,000 dogs and cats will be rounded up and killed during the controversial 10-day dog meat festival, which began in Southern Chinese city of Yulin on Tuesday. Annually, thousands of Chinese people flock to the Yulin festival to buy dog meat to eat.
One supporter of this controversial festival claimed that the tradition of eating dog has been around for 500 years in China, South Korea, and other countries. However, critics challenge this claim, alleging that this tradition is only a recent invention, serving to drum up the local meat industry.
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"It's embarrassing to us that the world wrongly believes that the brutally cruel Yulin festival is part of Chinese culture," said Qin Xiaona, director of the Capital Animal Welfare Association Charity.
Critics have further alleged that dogs are mercilessly killed in full public view and sometimes even beaten to death or cooked while still alive. Other critics, including doctors. claim that eating dog meat is extremely unhealthy, as it causes diseases like trichinellosis, rabies, and cholera.
The Chinese government maintains that the dog meat festival has no government backing and it is purely run by private businesses.
Meanwhile, animal right activists have once again raised their voices in forms of various petitions against the festival, a practice that activists have been passionately following since the festival came into being in 2009. This year, the petition seeking for permanent ban of the festival has garnered 11 million signatures from across the world.
According to a recent poll published by state news agency Xinhua, a whopping 64 percent of Chinese people between the age of 16 and 50 said they supported a permanent ban on the festival.