Recent news out of China suggesting that officials have "banned" the Yulin dog meat festival has understandably given campaigners cause for hope. However, this announcement is not what it appears to be, and the hundreds of thousands of dogs - and cats -suffering in Yulin and other Chinese animal markets still need our help.
Between 10 and 20 million dogs per year are believed to be killed for consumption in China, with live dog and animal markets all over the region, as well as many illegal dog slaughterhouses. The killing of dogs for meat in the Chinese city of Yulin in the South Western Guangxi province has gained international notoriety for the sheer volume of dogs involved and the local trader's unashamed promotion of dog eating as a local tradition. Taking place every year during the June summer solstice, Yulin has traditionally seen tens of thousands of dogs - many stolen pets still wearing their collars - crammed into wire cages, heaped on top of one another on trucks, and sent overland on grueling journeys. Many do not survive, dying of shock, starvation and dehydration. Those dogs who survive the transport - traumatized and terrified, barely alive and often injured from their transport - are then slaughtered in the street markets or in slaughterhouses.