Petition launched to stop China's Yulin dog meat festival

'Festival of cruelty' takes place in June

Petition launched to stop China's Yulin dog meat festival

As China prepares for its annual Yulin dog and cat meat festival, animals rights groups have renewed calls to shut it down.

The horrific festival begins on 20 June and, while up to 20 million dogs are killed for meat consumption every year in China, this festival epitomises the cruelty of the industry.

Yu Hongmei, director of the VShine Animal Protection Association, said China needs to follow the example of the vast majority of developed nations that have banned eating dogs and cats.

According to the Metro, Yu said: "China needs to progress with the times. Preventing cruelty to animals is the sign of a mature, civilised society."

Many of the 10,000 dogs killed at this festival are stolen from their owners and are still wearing their collars when they are slaughtered, often in front of the other animals, beaten to death with a club.

Many have been stuffed into cages and travelled hundreds of miles without food or water before even getting to the festival

A petition has been set up calling on the Chinese president to stop the slaughter.

It reads: "For the Yulin dog meat festival, some dogs are stolen from their owners and beaten or bled to death. Then they're hung upside down from hooks, a slit cut from their anus and skin ripped off their bodies, and sold to be eaten.

The suffering must be unbearable -- new research shows that in terms of emotion, dogs' brains are much like ours, something dog owners and lovers understand well. When we see dogs for what they are -- living beings with thoughts and feelings -- the torture they endure at this 'festival' becomes inexcusable.

"When our numbers are great enough, Avaaz will take out ads, work with influential celebrities, run the first independent national poll on dog-eating in China, and put this issue on front pages everywhere until Chinese authorities act. Add your name now and tell everyone."

Festival of Cruelty: Inside Yulin's Dog Meat Festival