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A tweet from the comedian ended up saving over 650 dogs from starvation and abuse in Romania.A tweet from the comedian ended up saving over 650 dogs from starvation and abuse in Romania.

Ricky Gervais Urges End to Yulin Dog Meat Festival

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Ricky Gervais is supporting the Humane Society International Rescue’s attempt to shut down China’s cruel dog and cat meat trade, including the infamous Yulin dog meat festival.

Despite officials denying that the Yulin dog meat festival will happen on June 22, the HSI believes that the massive dog slaughter will indeed happen as evidenced by the footage that the organization recently shot which shows festival slaughter preparations underway in Yulin late last month.

The HSI is hopeful that with enough international outrage, the horrific event will finally be cancelled once and for all.

Cue comedian and animal activist Gervais who’s been active on his Twitter account about the cause, trying to round up support from his millions of followers. Earlier today the comedian posted a petition to stop the Yulin Dog festival, which over 300,000 people have already signed.

On behalf of HSI, the “Derek” start penned a heartfelt note to his fans and HSI supporters: “My friends at Humane Society International are working tirelessly to end this cruel trade all over Asia, and they desperately need your help. I’ve seen the footage that HSI has captured on video, and it breaks my heart. I will never forget the look of bewilderment and fear on the faces of these poor animals—the dogs and cats await a horrible fate. No animal deserves to be treated like this.”

More than 10 million dogs are killed for their meat in China every year. The dogs are tortured first, often boiled alive, because it’s believed they “taste better” that way. The Yulin festival was created back in 2010 by dog meat traders as a way to boost business — it is not a Chinese tradition, which is it’s been wrongly assumed to be.

“I often hear people say that we shouldn’t interfere with tradition, but it isn’t Chinese tradition to brutalize animals in this way. Eating dog meat hasn’t been considered fashionable or decent in China for more than a thousand years,” says HSI’s China Specialist Peter Li. “I was brought up in China, and like thousands of my fellow Chinese, I utterly reject the dog and cat meat trade and welcome the international attention it receives. Culture must never be allowed to be an excuse for cruelty to people or animals, and it is heartening to see so many young and passionate Chinese citizens challenging the old attitudes towards animals. The Yulin authorities would be advised to listen and shut down this event.”

During a trip to Yulin last month, the HSI unexpectedly were able to save four animals next in line for killing — two cats and two dogs, one of whom was named “little Ricky” in honor of Gervais.

Gervais has hope that the HSI will be successful, but not without our help.

“I want you to know I have hope. HSI is at the forefront of saving animals from the butcher’s knife, lobbying to get Yulin and other dog meat markets closed for good. And they’re making progress,” Gervais said. “HSI managed to save the lives of two dogs and two cats who looked as though they’d given up all hope of rescue. Little ‘Ricky’ and his pals were next in line for killing, until HSI stepped in. One of the cats was so frightened that she climbed the wall of her cage to try to escape. I cannot imagine anything so dreadful happening to my cat Ollie—I would do anything to protect her. Little Ricky and his pals are the lucky ones. They’re now safe thanks to HSI, but thousands of others won’t be saved unless we do more to stop this.”

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  • Jeremy Oudit

    I’m so glad that Ricky is using his influence to help raise more awareness on the issue. Just wanted to point out that HSI also just released a video that is a little less graphic than the one in the post. It’s much easier to watch and hopefully is much more shareable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3jy5GUyJDc

  • MisterCadet

    Very disappointed to see Ricky Gervais hoodwinked into supporting the Humane Society of the United States’ international money-making affiliate. Gervais has done great work with other animal organizations, especially Animals Asia. HSUS very recently gave him a fancy award for his online advocacy. It doesn’t take a cynic to figure out their motives.

    The meat festival is once every five years and it is disgusting, but more disgusting is “HSI-US” which is exploiting the plight of these dogs beyond belief. HSUS controls all donations made to HSI. HSUS sent $26 million to Cayman Islands hedge funds in 2012 and 2013. That is on their tax returns – page 32 (2012) and 33 (2013). HSUS and another affiliate, the Fund for Animals, are both on the same Charity Navigator “Donor Advisory” list as Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. I donate to so many great overseas charities that deserve publicity and financial support. HSUS is using this event the way they use disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the Michael Vick case.

    Mr. Gervais, do not facilitate their fraud.

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