Yulin Dog Meat Eating Festival goes on as scheduled.
Despite the efforts of animal advocates worldwide, and the government taking the Yulin (China) Summer Solstice Dog Meat Festival off its official calendar, the Festival of dog meat, lychee and strong liquor is well underway. As of Saturday over 2,000 dogs had already been slaughtered and consumed. Also, in an effort to avoid the scrutiny of animal advocates and other opposition the carnage was moved up from the scheduled June 21, 2014. Although 17 restaurants reportedly removed dog meat from their menus, 48 restaurants are reported to be serving dishes with dog meat.
Where culture is said to be the heart of this event, it comes under fire for the inhumane treatment of the animals. This year's event has received more outrage that previous years, particularly due to information sharing through social media. The cruelty inflicted on the dogs prior to their deaths has been as much of a source of contention as the deaths themselves. Cruelty that involves the dogs loaded onto trucks, traveling for long distances, crammed in together so tightly that bones are broken, many die before reaching their destination. The dogs that do make it are bludgeoned to death, electrocuted or boiled alive.
A number of reports also point to rabies and distemper being present in the dogs served up at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. It has also been confirmed that dogs have been poisoned prior to being killed.
Extortion and taunting animal activists into paying for the release of dogs has been heavily reported this year. Advocates have risked their own safety to rescue dogs. 1700 dogs, reported to be mostly stolen, in three different carriers were turned away for insufficient paperwork thanks to animal advocates and are now safe (Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project states 2000 dogs - update June 21, 2014).
Other reports have surfaced of those that would not have normally participated in the dog eating festival doing so because they resent the animal advocates and their presence.
China does not have any animal cruelty laws at this time.