The prime minister’s wife called the torture of dogs and puppies “sickening” as a dog meat festival in China began.
Carrie Johnson tweeted on Tuesday: “The torture of these dogs and puppies is sickening. Warning: these pictures are the thing of nightmares. #stopyulin” in response to the ongoing Yulin Dog Meat festival.
The festival is an annual event around the summer solstice where up to 5,000 dogs are butchered over a period of 10 days.
Distressing footage from the 2019 showed a dog being blowtorched alive.
Animal rights activists in China have been rescuing dogs en route to and within Yulin since the end of May.
In February of 2020, China issued a temporary ban on all trade and consumption of wild animals, as it is likely that Covid-19 jumped from bats to humans, and the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai have fully banned the eating of dogs altogether in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, the Government of China removed dogs from its official list for human consumption and granted them “companion status” — but a full ban on their consumption has not been issued.
In response to the festival, a spokesperson for the UK prime minister Boris Johnson said: “The British public would rightly never support the slaughter and consumption of dogs.
“We have robust laws in place to protect the welfare of dogs in this country. It’s already illegal here and we have no evidence that this type of meat is being sold or consumed in the UK.
“We’re confident that the current position in this country sends a clear message that the slaughter and consumption of dogs or cats will never be acceptable.”
According to last year’s figures, around 10 million dogs were killed in China for human consumption.