Activists save 1,300 dogs from being slaughtered and eaten in China

A large truck slowly trudged towards its final destination in the dead of the night. Over the past three days, the creaky rig had covered over 1,200 miles to reach the city of Yulin in the Chinese province of Guangxi, where a famous and controversial event is held every year. It's most commonly known as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

This is one of the dishes served at the event: a dog meat stew. You can even distinguish certain parts of the dog's anatomy such as the teeth! 

The truck was carrying more than 1,300 dogs and some cats, many of which were stolen pets. The poor animals were destined for the plates of the many thousands who attend the festival to celebrate this ancient Chinese tradition.

The trailer was packed with dozens of cramped cages housing frightened pooches. Howling and sobbing into their paws, the dogs hadn't been given any food or water in the past three days and were in a desperate state. The cages were so small that the dogs were crushed against each other, leaving them with no room to move or even stretch their legs. What torture.

But help was soon at hand. When two activists happened to spot the truck traveling down the highway, they were horrified by what they saw and plucked up the courage to do something about this appalling atrocity. 

Once the truck driver pulled into a gas station, they had to act quickly. After calling for more backup, they confronted the driver and prevented him from getting back into the vehicle. When the driver had no answer to the activists' demands to see the documents required for transporting animals, they called the police.

In the meantime, more than 300 activists and 100 cars had soon arrived at the scene to surround the truck. Now blockaded on all sides, the driver had no means of escape and was forced to let the dogs go free once the police had arrived. 

Unfortunately, at least 20 dogs had died of suffocation or dehydration by this point. Though the remaining canine prisoners were in a terrible condition, there was still hope. Hundreds of volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that the survivors of this terrible ordeal received the food, water, and medical treatment they needed at nearby animal shelters. What a relief! 

Dr. Peter Li, Humane Society International's China policy specialist, commented, "This was an audacious rescue, the single largest dog and cat truck rescue that we’ve seen so far in China. We applaud the brave work of the men and women animal lovers who saved the lives of these terrified animals who were headed towards a brutal slaughter."

Though dog meat is a common sight in many parts of China, animal groups are lobbying for festivals such as the one in Yulin to be canceled. Thanks to the activists' brave intervention, the dogs rescued at the gas station were the fortunate ones. However, this couldn't prevent many others from being slaughtered and eaten at the event. Despite the controversy surrounding it, this year's festival was allowed to go ahead as normal. 

We hope that the Chinese government will take a tougher stance towards the commercialization of illegal meat, especially when it comes from stolen animals. More needs to be done to stop incredible acts of cruelty such as these from continuing into the future. 

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