Over 4 million people have petitioned to stop the annual dog meat festival in Yulin, China. Among them is Yang Xiaoyun, who has saved over 3,500 dogs in the last 20 years and even sold two of her houses in order to care for them...
Every year, the Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in the city of Yulin, China sparks outrage with up to 10,000 dogs being slaughtered for their meat. Like us, you probably wish you could save them all, but one Chinese woman has gone a step further and has started adopting as many of the dogs as possible.
65-year-old retired schoolteacher and all-round inspiration Yang Xiaoyun travelled 1,500 miles to get to Yulin and paid over £700 at this year’s festival to save 100 dogs from being killed and eaten. She has been caring for dogs on a volunteer basis for over 20 years and runs a yard called ‘Common Home’ that houses hundreds of cats and dogs. She started looking after them when her husband passed away in 1995 and has saved over 3,500 dogs in that time.
Last year alone she saved over £15,000 in order to take care of the animals and in the past she even sold two of her homes in order to help fund their care – the £200,000 she made from their sale was spent on caring for and housing her cats and dogs. Yang Xiaoyun has since run out of money to continue looking after them and now relies on donations.
Local residents and vendors in Yulin insist that the dogs are killed in a humane way, although animal rights activists say that this is not true, and that they are in fact often beaten and skinned alive before being cooked. Over 4 million people have so far signed an online petition trying to ban the festival from taking place.
Many activists and celebrities have been campaigning against the festival using the hashtag #StopYuLin2015, with Ricky Gervais recently tweeting, ‘Whether you’re an atheist or believer, vegan or hunter, you must agree that torturing a dog then skinning it alive is wrong.’