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Yulin dog meat festival held again in China

HEARTBREAKING: The Yulin Festival continues despite China's declassification of dogs as food.
June 22, 2020 Updated: August 20, 2023
Felidae,Whiskers,Liver,Macaque Felidae,Mesh,Fence,Whiskers,Line,Big cats

Despite international rejection and the Chinese government’s removal of dogs from its official list of animals that can be raised and sold commercially for consumption, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival began over the weekend on June 21. The controversial event promotes the slaughter of dogs and cats and their meat consumption.

In a video recorded by the Humane Society, rows of dog carcasses on tables and live puppies are shown being sold at a market outside Yulin—all of which are done in flagrant violation of the recent decree by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reclassifying dogs as pets rather than for consumption. This classification is already in effect for cats.

Most dogs and cats killed for the festival are obtained illegally, captured in their homes or on the streets, and transported thousands of miles to Yulin. During the journey, they go without water and food while stuffed into overcrowded cages. Many are sick or dying at the time they are killed. Animal Equality documented animals beaten and killed while fully conscious during its investigations.

The Government of China reclassified dogs removing them from the list of animals considered “livestock.” This change doesn’t ban the consumption of dog meat but prohibits the sale of live dogs and dog meat as food. It also makes it illegal for dog meat to be sold in restaurants, markets, and slaughterhouses. The cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai have also expressly banned the consumption of cat and dog meat.

The fact that Yulin’s Dog Meat Festival is even taking place is very disturbing. We are monitoring the situation on the ground to see what Chinese authorities choose to do now.

Sharon Núñez
President of Animal Equality

You can help end the dog meat trade

Every year the festival receives the world’s condemnation from activists and organizations alike. This year’s event is under even more intense scrutiny given the  COVID-19 pandemic believed to have spread in a wet market in Wuhan, China. These live animal markets are very similar to the markets where live dogs and cats are slaughtered, bringing disease and conditions ripe for future outbreaks.

It is up to people like you to stand up and end this abuse. Please use your power to give voice to the animals. Share our investigations on the dog and cat meat trade and help us call for the ban of festivals like the one in Yulin.

Help animals here at home simply replacing meat with delicious plant‑based alternatives.

Dog in a cage of a Chinese meat market


As loyal companions, dogs and cats have been beloved by humans for thousands of years.

Defend these ancient bonds by replacing animal products with plant‑based ones.

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