Activist purchases of dogs at Yulin festival down this year

By Liu Xin in Yulin and Zhao Yusha in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2016/6/22 1:03:01

Fewer dog-lovers purchased dogs on Tuesday at the controversial dog meat festival in Yulin, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as many believed purchasing dogs did not help save them but only increased their price.

Some dog-lovers from Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, South China's Guangdong Province and Canada carried the dogs they bought from "Big Market" at Baishiqiao Road to a car, but did not reveal where the dogs would be delivered.

Locals swarmed around many animal activists, dismissing their rescue attempts as a performance and jeering at them to buy more dogs.

The number of dog-lovers purchasing dogs was lower than in previous years. Most buyers kept a low profile and quietly arranged purchases, while vendors were no longer seen butchering dogs in public markets.

"We believe purchasing dogs isn't the right way - it only benefits dog sellers who make the price spike," Du Yufeng, a representative from Sichuan-based Boai Animal Protection Center, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Du bought 13 dogs on Tuesday, spending up to 900 yuan ($136) for each. "The vendors raised the price today. The police also told them not to sell us dogs, because they believe we will create a bad influence," Du said.

But she did not expect that purchasing dogs would cost her more than just her money.

"Last night, about 10 policemen came to our hotel and harassed us for four hours until 7 am. They said we did not obey the hotel's rules to keep us from going out to make a fuss at night," Du told the Global Times.

Another dog-lover named Lian Jie claimed she had been treated "barbarously" by police on Tuesday. "They wanted to kick us out of the market," she told the Global Times.

She bought 10 dogs on Tuesday but said she has no idea where to find homes for them.

Many police officers were seen patrolling Big Market, approaching every time dog-lovers showed up, without triggering violence.

Du said Boai also submitted their petition to ban the festival to the local government and were told the government will respond within a week.

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