Woman pays to res­cue 100 dogs from meat fes­ti­val: re­port

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

A Chi­nese woman has paid over US$1,000 to save 100 ca­nines from be­ing eaten dur­ing a dog meat fes­ti­val, media said Sun­day, as ac­tivists have lashed out at the event la­bel­ing it cruel.

An­i­mal- lov­ing Yang Xiaoyun paid about 7,000 yuan (US$1,100) to save around 100 dogs in the south­ern city of Yulin on Satur­day, web por­tal Netease re­ported.

The city holds an an­nual fes­ti­val de­voted to the an­i­mal’s meat on the sum­mer sol­stice, which has pro­voked an in­creas­ing back­lash from an­i­mal pro­tec­tion ac­tivists.

Re­ports said that Yang, 65, plans to re­house the dogs at her home nearly 2,000 kilo­me­ters (124 miles) away in Tian­jin.

Pic­tures posted

online showed her brows­ing a mar­ket in Yulin where the dogs were kept in cages.

Ac­tivists, who say the fes­ti­val is cruel, have in the past trav­eled to the city to hold demon­stra­tions, some­times buy­ing dogs to save them from the cook­ing pots.

Lo­cals have been quoted as say­ing that an­i­mals are killed in a hu­mane way for the fes­ti­val, where their meat is then served with ly­chees.

The ma­jor­ity of “meat dogs” in the coun­try are stolen pets and strays, ac­cord­ing to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion pub­lished this month by Hong Kong-based char­ity An­i­mals Asia, though eat­ing dog is un­usual in most parts of China.

Around 30 mil­lion house­holds in the coun­try are es­ti­mated to keep dogs as pets, help­ing to fuel the grow­ing an­i­mal rights move­ment.

This year the fes­ti­val has been tar­get- ed by Bri­tish Co­me­dian Ricky Ger­vais, who posted a se­ries of mes­sages on Twit­ter with the hash­tag “StopYuLin2015.”

The city’s gov­ern­ment has tried to dis­tance it­self from the event.

“Some res­i­dents of Yulin have the habit of com­ing to­gether to eat ly­chees and dog meat dur­ing the sum­mer sol­stice,” the city’s news of­fice wrote on Sina Weibo, a Chi­nese Twit­ter equiv­a­lent.

“The ‘sum­mer sol­stice ly­chee and dog meat fes­ti­val’ is a com­mer­cial term, the city has never (of­fi­cially) or­ga­nized a ‘dog meat fes­ti­val,’” it added.

Eat­ing dog is not illegal in China, but the gov­ern­ment called on meat ven­dors to re­spect food safety laws.

“Yulin is an open, tol­er­ant and civ­i­lized city,” it said. “We welcome peo­ple across the world to pay at­ten­tion to Yulin.”

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