Yulin's horror dog meat festival raises issue close to home

YULIN'S annual dog meat festival is getting under way. 

Among pools of blood and canine cries for help, dog meat traders are rubbing their hands together to make a quick buck. 

The meat can sell for up to AU$10 a kilo. 

Research by animal rights groups shows many of these animals have been plucked from the street or from loving homes. Some of them will be cooked or skinned alive. 

Others will be bludgeoned or have their throats slit. 

Many of them die wearing collars and name tags given to them by someone who loved them and probably misses them - someone who will never see their cherished pet again. 

Eating dog meat goes back a long way in China, having started around 551-479 BC.

But it's a practice that is becoming less common among modern Chinese who love and cherish their pets.

And that's why dog meat traders started the Yulin dog meat festival in 2010. They wanted to prop up sales, and reignite the taste for dog meat. 

Many Chinese people are using their own money to buy dogs and save them from ending up in someone's belly, but about 10,000 pooches will still face a drawn out and painful demise at the annual festival of horrors. 

Having travelled to China - an amazing place with a fascinating and beautiful culture - it's downright sad to see such a great country allowing such suffering. 

Some would say it's really not an Australian's place to tell another country what they should and shouldn't do, especially since Australia slaughters so many pigs, cows and other creatures. 

But when the suffering of animals is involved, there are no countries or boundaries - people the world over need to unite to help the creatures who can't speak up or fight back. 

And our own governments could certainly start by taking a look at themselves. 

Eating companion animals in every state except South Australia is not illegal with only two conditions - the animal must be killed "humanely" and the meat must not be sold. 

This means your next door neighbours could be eating dog and cat meat, and according to our governments, it's totally fine. 

That's just pathetic. 

 No animal should suffer a terrifying or cruel death, and no government should entertain the idea of eating our companions - ours included. 

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