As international and local media coverage of the infamous Yulin dog-meat festival grows, so, too, does the number of visitors traveling to the festival to save animals by buying them. In an open letter, 35 animal groups warn that buying dogs—often for high prices—fuels the very market they’re trying to end and threatens to keep it going:
Buying large number[s] of dogs in Yulin stimulates the local market, increasing the number of slaughtered dogs, and pushes up the price while the … welfare of saved dogs cannot be supervised or guaranteed.
According to these groups, as long as well-meaning rescuers continue to line the pockets of those who are selling dogs, animals will continue to be rounded up for slaughter. They also point out that dog-meat prices are inflated for the festival—if rescuers are set on buying and saving dogs, their funds would go further and save more animals at a different time of the year.
The letter asks that rescuers instead put their efforts toward more long-term solutions, such as putting pressure on the local government, engaging in more public outreach, and pushing for animal-welfare legislation.
What You Can Do
Check out our list of all the ways you can help dogs and other animals in China.