POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned?

  • 3.6K

Although dogs have been eaten in parts of East Asia for hundreds—and possibly thousands—of years, a relatively new festival in Yulin, , has sparked global controversy and polarized many Chinese, over both the treatment of the animals and the practice of eating them.

The ten-day Lychee and Meat Festival started in Yulin, in southern China, on June 21. The annual festival, timed to the summer solstice, has been held for the past decade.

About 10,000 dogs are likely to be slaughtered over the course of the festival, many of them served in hotpots.

As #YulinDogMeatFestival approaches, polls show overwhelming opposition to the .

The festival, while organized by private citizens and businesses, is not officially endorsed by the Chinese government, at either the local or national level. Local support is mixed, with some enthusiastically welcoming visitors from out of town and others complaining that it gives their area a bad name. Online petitions have recorded millions of signatures condemning the event.

Watch: Dogs are rescued from the meat trade in South Korea. The same group, Humane Society International, is rescuing dogs this week from the Yulin festival in China.

A recent poll found that 51.7 percent of Chinese, including Yulin residents, want the dog meat trade banned completely, with 69.5 percent claiming to have never eaten dog meat, reports the state news agency Xinhua. Opposition to dog meat is particularly high among young people.

These dogs are for sale at the Yulin dog meat festival in southern China this week. Photograph by Andy Wong, Associated Press

“It’s embarrassing to us that the world wrongly believes that the brutally cruel Yulin festival is part of Chinese culture,” said Qin Xiaona, director of the Capital Animal Welfare Association charity, which sponsored the poll. “It isn’t.”

In response to protests, security has been increased in Yulin. On Chinese social media, the festival has become a hot-button issue. Some users decry the event while others defend the custom of eating dogs, saying it’s no different than consuming pigs or other animals.


In the U.S., Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) has introduced a resolution that condemns the festival and calls on China to end the dog meat trade. More than 10 million dogs are killed for human consumption every year in China, the congressman notes.

“The trade involves animal cruelty, criminal activity including theft of pets, and serious risk to human health, with the World Health Organization linking the trade to cholera and rabies,” the congressman writes in a press release.

The resolution is supported by the Humane Society International, which criticizes the Yulin festival for what it calls cruel treatment of the dogs, including crowding and lack of food and water. The group also alleges that some of the dogs are beaten to death and even cooked alive, sometimes in front of guests.

The festival organizers dispute those claims, arguing that the dogs are killed humanely. In response to criticism, they have also said the dogs won’t be killed in public any more.

Butchered dogs are displayed at a vendor’s stall at a dog meat market ahead the festival, June 21, 2015. Photo: Reuters

The Humane Society International has been working to remove dozens of dogs from the festival and find them adoptive homes, sometimes in the U.S. (which the group says raises awareness). Some of the dogs may be stolen pets and others are likely strays, the group alleges.

The Humane Society has done similar rescue work in South Korea, where it has also helped dog breeders transition away from the meat industry to other lines of work.

“The inhumane of thousands of dogs in China during the summer solstice, and millions more every year, deserves international attention,” said Hastings in a statement.

This article was first published by National Geographic on 21 Jun 2016.

We invite you to share your opinion whether China’s dog meat festival should be banned? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page:

Should China's dog meat festival be banned?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Thank you for voting.

In the event that you voted to ban China’s dog meat festival please sign the petition:

Shut Down the Yulin Dog Meat Festival!

Thank you for your support.


Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter



Vanished - Megascops Choliba by Jose Garcia Allievi

Discover hidden wildlife with our FREE newsletters

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

  • 3.6K

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
Cindy Scurry McCormick


Jen Pedrazzetti

banned for life !! and if someone is caught eating dog or cat they need boiled

Cheri Joseph

Absolutely yes! It is incredibly evil and wrong, and must be put to an end!

Evelyn Ball

These barbarians torture dogs and cats because of their stupid belief the meat tastes better when the animal suffers but we are no better when it comes to our treatment of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys in factory farms and slaughterhouses. Just because they aren't a dog or cat doesn't mean they should be abused because they feel pain and suffer also. Sickening how humans run to the grocery store to buy dead animals without any care or concern how they were treated and how they suffered. People should do a little research. There are plenty of documented cases of animal… Read more »

Evelyn Ball

Jayme Curtis Hess Maybe you should do a little research!!! There are countless cases of cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys being abused in factory farms and slaughterhouses in Canada and the USA. Animal abuse runs rampant within the meat, dairy, and egg industries. Pigs are beated and hit, chickens are thrown and stepped on, cows are beaten! The number of animals processed so stupid humans can shove them down their throats is pathetic. Chickens are still conscious when dumped into scalding water, pigs and cows are still conscious when their throats are cut! So is this acceptable just because humans want… Read more »

Wilmayra Gonzalez

Fortunately, the world is waking up to this barbarity against man's best friend and against so loving animals like cats. I can not words to describe all the suffering that happens dogs before being killed and eaten. According to research dogs they have the mentality of a child of 4 years. If China is a developed country and do wonderful things like clothing, technology, etc. then why instead of torturing and killing these intelligent animals,use should train them for many functions that could be very beneficial to humans and therefore the country. such as being guardians of drug airports securit,… Read more »

Antonia Muller

fight all yor live for animal laws

Debra Richards

filthy cruel dog torturers and killers

Debra Richards

I JUST WISH A tsunami would take the lot of you into the sea – the fish would be able to have a good meal first – let us hope that the fear of being food to be eaten by sharks and whales – makes your flesh nice and tender – as you believe torture makes for a tastier dish – so be it – hope the sharks and whales enjoy every tidbit of the lot of you – of course there could possibly be the contamination you might cause these sea creatures – off you go – the whole… Read more »

Sam Leggatt

No brainer, this along with every other so called festival, celebration or religious rite that involves cruelty, suffering and death of ANY animal must be banned totally. Not just driven underground so morons can continue to get their jollies but banned outright and punished if continued under any guise, whether it be called culture, tradition or religious belief.

Connie Dragon

This needs to stop now, I am ashamed of being Human, to me they all SCUM BIG TIMES!!!! i hope every day for Plaque to come and they will DIE very slow and Painfull for all the Years what they have done to these poor Animals!!! FUCK ASIA!!!!!!!

Linda Boldea

Stop the torture!

Crissy OD


Marie Jo Raey

on devrait boycotter la Chine pour leurs coutumes barbares

Braddock Mill

yes it is barbaric and most of animals are peoples stolen pets it is just letting thieves stteal and no punishnent

Rosalind Forshaw

Anyone with a conscience knows that this is WRONG!

Marijana Stokes

I don't care about history it's time for humanity to change . Eating dogs cats companion animals what is with humanity .

Nastja Adrian

I need to find out all the companys that related to the Chinese. And i am not buying nothing from them. I need to make a list of Made in China, becouse this country is not humane country, its like devils live there Tipical chinese psihopats abusing animals anyway possible!!!

Diane Porter

Adrian Shiva Mercy!

Sharon Laird

Yes, in western counteries this would never be tolerated.

Toni-Alisia Anderson

Yes of course it should be banned.
Now and forever!!!!(

Meng Chong Lim

It's a relatively stupid question to ask when the whole world condemns the dog meat festivals not just in China, but many other dog & cat meat eating countries like South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Africa etc etc…
To answer whether these festivals should be banned…
Is as good as asking…
"Should we eat our own pet dogs & cats when we regard them as man's best friends & companions???!!!…"

Cindy Legler

It's time to wake up China and implement animal cruelty laws in your backwards fucked up country! Torturing dogs and cats for your ridiculous beliefs is completely evil and insane! All they want is to be loved unconditionally! Listen to your people and the world and ban this disgusting evil "so called dog festival" and the "so called tradition" of intentional boiling, blowtorching, skinning, beating, gouging eyes out, nailing paws to the wall, slicing open of live dogs, puppies and cats! It is completely evil beyond comprehension and needs to stop NOW!!!

Kristine Law

Filthy, barbaric subhuman bastards!..Killing animals in the name of religion, traditions, festivals etc is neanderthal thinking!.

Karin Davina

This madness Has to stop asap

Willi William

Dog meat is not an OXYGEN!

Jo Alex Sousa Gomes

It should be banned immediately!! Voted and shared

Vicki Lapadat

This is inhumane and must stop.

Jeanniesimpson Simpson

This shocking killing of dogs is not a chinese culture…I believe it only started in 2010.

Adrian Shiva

Diane Porter — I couldn't blame you for not knowing about the torture — unfortunately, far too many articles don't talk about it, they merely say the dogs or cats are "killed/eaten". And that's why many readers would understandably mistake it as "just another choice of meat, that's all". But deliberate torture is the very feature at the center of this atrocity. Without it, they wouldn't want to eat dogs or cats. You see, they believe that "the greater the suffering, the tastier the meat" (even admitted by one of the cooks in the 2010 documentary San Hua) and that… Read more »

Diane Porter

Adrian Shiva I did not read in the article that deliberately torturing the animals was part of the dog festival. If that is indeed the case, then of course it is far worse than slaughtering animals humanely.

It is vicious to unneccessarily cause any sentient being to suffer, as too often happens in "normal" meat production, whether or not the species is one we often enjoy as pets.

For the suffering to be caused not only unneccessarily but also deliberately, that is the definition of evil.

Leigh Johnson

Anyone involved in this industry from the people who murder them to the people who eat them to the politicians to allow it to happen should all be put to death immediately

Adrian Shiva

Tierra — Perhaps, but we should take care not to invite disengagement from the current topic nor mislead readers into thinking it's a choice of saving either all animals or none at all. It's also a mistake to assume that the consumption of animals in general comes anywhere even close to the cruelty that is the dog and cat meat torture trade for a number of reasons — from the maximized, deliberate torture industry-wide in the dog and cat meat torture trade (*deliberate* maximized torture industry-wide, not merely some abusive worker or some slaughterhouse under investigation, and the methods are… Read more »

Adrian Shiva

Hypocrisy is not only not present here; more importantly, it's irrelevant. Like others have said: we don't torture animals extensively on purpose, with methods specifically aiming to maximize suffering; the dog and cat meat torture trade does. We don't steal pets; the dog and cat meat torture trade does. You might only be able to call it hypocrisy if we ourselves were doing the very thing we are condemning, which is the kidnapping of pets, particularly dogs and cats (or other innocents with at least the same level of meaningful intelligence, empathy, loyalty and sentimentality which would mean increased emotional… Read more »

Adrian Shiva

Not to mention: the dogs who protect and serve our societies as officers, and particularly heroic of them: fighting on the front lines of war for whole human nations.

Leanne Green

Bloody oath it should be banned!
Crulety 100%

Sylviane Muller

This barbaric and hideous killing needs to end. There is NO justification in tortureI If we can't feel any compassion for these poor creatures then we are no longer humans

Anne Hayton

Disgusting so so cruel no animal warrens this god asked us to care nd nurture all animals they shud not allowed to do anything which involves anything cruel cruel barbaric ppl

Alison Howden

I agree with Susan frudd totally barbaric cruel beyond belief, all need to change surely there is caring human beings who have hearts that could teach new traditions of love and respect all living creatures

Melinda Magee

Ask the family of 5 that was awaken by their dog when the house was burning around them. They are alive because of their dog. Tell the young mother of 3 year old Nick after a 12 hour hunt for him after wondering off in the woods. Found by a dog. Our military men with PTSD. Etc…..The government and all involved in the horrors of the meat trade are corrupt. The dogs are the innocent, voiceless victim's that line the pockets of the evil. KIA, Hyundai Samsung among a few global 500 company's based in Seoul South Korea understands fully… Read more »

El Cilio

Disgusting and pitiful waste of space. These horrible beings need to be put down. Indefinitely.

Jenny Hong

Dogs and cats are family not a food

Carmen Gloria Varela

If the DMT trade is a tradition then know traditions were meat to be broken …. The DOG AND CAT MEAT TRADE is the ultimate display of barbaric backwards cruelty …. I don't understand how you can continue supporting this trade knowing its bringing such SHAME AND DISGUST upon your country…. WORLDWIDE people want to boycott your country because of the display of lack of compassion you keep sharing with us … What a disgrace you are ….Bravo!!!! Take a bow for the world as we are watching you! …. I will NEVER step on foot on your soil for… Read more »

Mark David Nell

Same in South Korea. Boknal should be banned. They are just as bad as China, but are given a free pass because they are a western ally.

Tracey Knight

China should be ashamed. It is a cruel, barbaric country that has retarded beliefs. There is no place in todays society for this savage act. Do you enjoy the pain they suffer China??? Of course you do. BOYCOTT CHINA!!!!

David Oliver

Of course it should be banned – it's absolutely barbaric and inhuman to treat any sentient ctreature this way. It's time China entered the 21st century and adopted animal welfare laws.

Anne Sigvik

This is 2016! We know now that all living beeings can feel pain and fear! This torture has nothing to do with eating habits! It has to do with deliberately inflicting horrific pain to a sentient beeing! This is nothing but cruel and unintelligent! It must stop!!

Donna Minion Olsen Lober

There is no need to be SAVAGES!! These human monsters should be so ashamed of their ugly treatment of dogs, that they can't stand THEMSELVES!!

Jada A. McKenzie

This EVIL. BARBARIC, SADISTIC so called trade MUST BE BANNED FOREVER. #BOYCOTTCHINA #BanDCMT China and other dog and cat meat eating countries are being boycotted WORLDWIDE by millions until they stop their EVIL trades and bring in much needed animal welfare laws to protect our best friends and educate the young how to look after and care for animals instead of how to torture, boil alive, skin alive, abuse and murder them !! We are recruiting to boycott you China. We won't stop until you stop killing cats and dogs to eat, whether it be"in front" of people or in… Read more »

Joseph Streich Sauskojus

This is very sickening to see many pictures of this happening today in 2016. I can't understand the thinking of some people around the world today.