Right now, thousands of dogs and cats in China need our help. Over the past few days these poor animals—many of them stolen pets—have been crammed onto trucks in wire cages without food or water, and driven for hours under miserable conditions. Their appalling fate? To be cruelly beaten, then slaughtered and eaten as part of an annual 'festival' held in Yulin.
It's so brutal, it makes me sick thinking about it. The cruelty, pain and terror these animals experience is disgusting and there are no words to describe how upset this makes me feel.
But we are the only hope for these poor animals. Together we must stand strong with the millions of people across China who, just like us, love animals and passionately oppose this cruelty.
As I write to you, HSI operatives are on the ground in Yulin and they have already rescued 54 dogs and cats from certain death at slaughterhouses, in addition to the hundreds of dogs they've helped rescue from slaughter trucks prior to the festival. These lucky animals are being given emergency veterinary care and driven to safety, but many more need our help.
You may have read recent news reports of Yulin dog meat traders trying to claim that business is still good—but HSI’s Peter Li is on the ground there now reporting that a number of the dog slaughterhouses are closed, and that live animal markets and dog meat restaurants are much reduced compared to last year. This is encouraging news.
Achieving lasting change takes time, but I am hopeful that together we can see an end to this horrific trade. And I am heartened by a Chinese opinion poll just released that shows the majority of Chinese people want the Yulin festival shut down, and in fact most people in China have never eaten dog in their lives.