Friday 16 November 2018 | 19

In Yulin, veterinarians discover that dogs are not just objects

In China, the idea that an animal is a sentient being is barely emerging! Notably in Yulin, where every year there is a huge killing of dogs. Thanks to the fabulous work of our partner association ACTAsia, veterinarians in the region now realize that canines feel pain and fear.

Hr blog

One could believe in a satirical "scoop": in 2018, Chinese veterinarians learn that dogs feel fear and pain! And yet, this is a reality. In some remote areas of the far East, professionals in charge of animal health did not know this, until recently that they were treating sentient beings!

This is the sad truth for the local association ACTAsia, of which we are partners in the Fur Free Alliance and we have also been supporting them for the last 10 years, in particular financing the education and teaching of “empathy” vis-a-vis animals in Chinese schools. Like this NGO, we are indeed convinced that the raising of awareness is a long-term job and that to sensitize them at an early age to certain truths will make it possible to complete the teaching process, one day or another, with the notion that an animal is not just a machine.

Training the professionals

But taking comfort in the knowledge that changing mentalities in a few decades is just not enough. Too many innocent victims endure, every second, torture that could be avoided if humans, already adults, agreed to question their beliefs and behaviours. 

But how can the supposed holders of knowledge nevertheless have enormous gaps in the field of neurology? How to act when Chinese veterinarians still consider that animals do not feel physical pain or mental anguish? Many of them still do not use anaesthetics, even for sterilization! And that is just because of simple ignorance ...

In its fight against obscurantism, ACTAsia has also embarked on the development of a training scheme for Asian veterinarians with the Australian NGO Vets For Comparison (VFC). Objective: to encourage the practice of using anaesthetics for all operations and through this new approach to change the way professionals look at animals and their suffering. 

Reaching out to the areas of Yulin

This year, the program "Train the trainer" has been accepted by the poor and remote province of Guangxi in southern China. This is an unprecedented progress in a rural area known for its appetite for dog meat and its lack of understanding of animal welfare.

The road to Yulin Animal Disease Control Centre and the veterinarians attending it has proved difficult. This city is sadly known for the festival held every year. Every 21stof June, the summer solstice is celebrated in a bloodbath at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. In question here is the well-established superstition that consuming canine meat, especially during the longest days, would promote good health. Thousands of dogs, and also cats, are regularly transported there - with a rise in numbers this season and in appalling conditions. They endure hell: piled on top of each other in cages, on the verge of asphyxiation, they wait to be scalded and then cut into pieces, sometimes still alive, then to be devoured.

In 2017, no less than 11 million people worldwide signed petitions, including One Voice, to try to abolish this festival of horror. Despite a brief hope of respite, the gigantic killing has unfortunately seen no truce as yet. Worse still, a second market has emerged under the impetus of some associations that buy dogs to save them. Rather than putting a stop to these atrocities, this has only led to an explosion in supply and trade: merchants continue to sell these "beautiful" dogs for meat, while still obtaining others, sick ones who are destined for the defence of animal centres. But they find themselves overwhelmed with animals and unable to properly care for these poor survivors.

Wining the spirits

In this difficult context, ACTAsia was not discouraged. Their trainers, from Australia and New Zealand, were able to work with Chinese veterinarians and say they were very impressed and moved by their willingness to learn. They were able to teach them how to vaccinate dogs against rabies, how to use the latest sterilization techniques to control the number of stray animals and perhaps most importantly to have respect for the animals and treat them as sentient beings.

Better still, ACTAsia has found that by offering practical solutions to professionals and by demonstrating the importance of compassion, their eyes are being opened and are changing the way citizens around them think as well.

One Voice salutes the remarkable work done by their partner and the perseverance from all its staff in the field. A long way still remains to go before their message wins all of the minds and hearts. But we will support their tireless efforts to promote a real common revolution.

Marie-Sophie Bazin
Hr blog

In the subject

A breeding farm has been closed in Emagny, but Mink are still in cages!
Back to our gathering against the terrible fate of English Greyhounds

Comments 19

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Triton | Tuesday 04 December 2018

Assassin

gispivoine | Tuesday 27 November 2018

POUR QUE YULIN NE FASSE PLUS JAMAIS DE TUERIE D'ANIMAUX !

Monique | Friday 23 November 2018

ON RESTE TOTALEMENT ABASOURDI PAR L'HORREUR DE TOUTE CETTE MALTRAITANCE OCCASIONNÉE PAR L'IGNORANCE ET LA NON FORMATION DES VETERINAIRES ET DE CE FAIT PAR LES POPULATIONS DE LA CHINE.
CE FESTIVAL DE YULIN DOIT ÊTRE TOTALEMENT ERADIQUE.
LE MONDE VETERINAIRE DOIT ETRE SENSIBILISE ET FORME AU RESPECT ET LA NON SOUFFRANCE DE LA CAUSE ANIMALE.
LE GOUVERNEMENT CHINOIS DOIT POUVOIR INTERVENIR EN INTERDISANT CE FESTIVAL ET EN ACCOMPAGNANT VETERINAIRES ET POPULATIONS DANS CETTE TRANSFORMATION .
MERCI À VOUS ONE-VOICE POUR TOUTES VOS ACTIONS AU BIEN ÊTRE DE LA CAUSE ANIMALE AINSI QU'À TOUTES LES ASSOCIATIONS QUI SONT PARTENAIRES ÉGALEMENT.

Claire | Thursday 22 November 2018

J'en suis complètement malade.