Four-legged feud

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-6-26 20:28:01

A woman stops a vendor injuring a dog at a market set up for the dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on June 20. Photo: IC

A "dog meat festival" in South China has reignited the national debate revolving the consumption of dog meat.

The controversy surrounding the event in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, shows little sign of abating nearly a week after the festival. Dog meat restaurants have, in recent years, endeavored to revive the local tradition of eating dog meat for  the Summer Solstice by promoting festivals to try to attract diners from across China. This has been met with fierce opposition from dog lovers and celebrities who denounce eating "man's best friend."

As diners feasted on what they relish as a delicacy, groups of dog lovers flocked to Yulin to rescue the animals from being served as dishes. Some devout dog lovers spent big bucks to buy canines from dealers and restaurants, but the purchase apparently encouraged some vendors to hike their prices through public abuse of the animals.

While the local government seceded from actually hosting the festival, matters seemed to boil over last week, with incidents including a break-in at a dog slaughterhouse and a fistfight in the street.

Controversies not only surround the dispute over whether dogs should be treated as a source of meat, like cattle, many animal lovers point to the problem of pet theft and animal abuse at the dealers and slaughterhouses.

However, with no sign of reconciliation between eaters and activists, and little advancement in animal welfare legislation, such conflicts are doomed to be exacerbated with every year.

Global Times

Vendors sell dogs to customers. Photo: IC


Animal welfare activist Yang Xiaoyun, from Tainjin, treats a dog she bought from a vendor. Photo: IC

Local residents enjoy a dog meat dinner in a restaurant. Photo: IC


A dog, apparently with skin diseases, on sale. Photo: IC


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