THOUSANDS of dogs were brutally killed as part of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival last month – but the controversial event is far from the only one around the world.
Animal rights activists and celebrities condemned the annual ‘food’ market, including Ricky Gervais, who branded the canine killers “dirty f***ing psychopathic c***s”.
The Sun revealed the horrors inside a "secret dog kill farm", which supplied 'meat' to the 10-day festival in Guangxi, China, that celebrates the summer solstice.
Puppies and older canines were believed to be either boiled alive or beaten to death before their fur was burned off with a blow-torch – ahead of being consumed.
Humane Society International estimate between 10 and 20 million dogs are killed for meat in China each year.
PETA's Vice President of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi told The Sun the event was a "shameful festival" and a "pandemic petri dish".
PETA urged the public to "shun" the event and "not to pay for profound animal suffering".
They called on the public to "stop supporting" nations where animals are "killed in hideous ways" and to boycott their goods.
Ms Bekhechi told The Sun: "Dogs suffer beyond imagination for this festival, but we must never forget the pigs, chickens, cows, ducks, and other individuals killed for their flesh all over the world, who also experience pain and fear just as we do."
Here are the other barbaric events where animals are tortured and butchered for celebrations.
Bull horns set on fire
Toro Júbilo, dubbed “fire bull” festival, takes place in Medinaceli, Spain, in the second week of November, each year.
The ancient tradition was described as a symbolic ritual that marked the end of the nation's 800-year occupation by the Moors, which ended in 1492.
As part of the celebration, a bull is tied down before having balls of tar placed on top of its horn and set alight.
PETA describes how the “terrified” animal is then released to “run around in a blind terror… while merciless thugs cheer at his agony".
Ms Bekhechi told The Sun: "The panicked animal can do nothing but charge around the square, smashing into walls in an attempt to put out the flames,"
Organisers claimed the bull has mud smothered over its head to reduce any pain – but the animal rights groups say the animal's "sensitive horns, eyes and other body parts" are at risk.
Online PETA branded the event a “sadistic ritual” and “a horrific spectacle that must be banned altogether”.
Toro Júbilo, also known as Toro de Fuego, was not allowed to take place last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Pig blood for 'good luck'
Each year, residents of Nem Thuong, a village near Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, carry out a ceremonial slaughtering for ‘good luck’.
The event, which is 800 years old, celebrates General Doan Thuong – who according to legend, killed two wild hogs to feed soldiers fighting off invaders.
Ahead of the day, two pigs are taken care of by local households before being bathed and dyed red for the ceremony.
On the day, the animals are "tied-up and paraded through the streets" alongside their executioner, who carries a large blade.
The pigs are “strapped down, spreadeagle” and "can be heard screaming as their throat is slit and locals dip money in its blood for 'good luck'", according to PETA.
Ms Bekhechi told The Sun: "This is one of the worst “festivals” in the world."
But after a crackdown by Vietnamese authorities, the killings now take place in an enclosed courtyard away from public view and no longer are the pigs chopped in half.
World’s ‘largest animal sacrifice’ fest
Gadhimai Festival in Nepal is a two-day festival that happens once every five years.
The event, which is a celebration observed by some Hindus, was last held in 2019 – despite animal sacrifices being outlawed four years earlier.
Animal Equality estimated that 3,203 buffalos were killed as well as goats, chickens, pigeons and other livestock.
Footage taken by the animal rights group alleged many of the men were “intoxicated” and had “no previous experience”.
This meant many of the animals were not decapitated immediately, which prolonging their suffering.
One-by-one buffaloes were shown being “hacked to death” by worshippers wielding machetes before moving onto other creatures.
At the height of the festival’s popularity in 2009, around 500,000 animals were slaughtered according to Humane Society International.
Estimates from 2014, believe there were between 30,000 and 200,000 animals slaughtered.
Animal piñatas & decapitated ducks
Kots Kaal Pato, which translates as the “dance of the strangled duck”, was a festival that ran in Citilcum, Mexico, until 2016.
The event was held in honour of Saint Bartolo and was incorrectly believed to bring about the rainy season – before it was banned in 2016.
The longstanding April celebration saw animals being slaughtered in unusual and cruel ways.
According to Vice, iguanas, possums and other “vermin” were captured by children and put into a piñata.
Attendees then took it in turns to pummel the toy – which contained the live animals – with a wooden rod.
Any creatures that were able to “escape the festive deathtrap” were chased by locals and then trampled to death.
In another shocking display, a duck was tied up with rope and suspended from a wooden structure, ready for people to try to grab the bird.
Vice reported “contestants clambering over each other” and jumping to reach it – the event ended after the bird’s head was ripped from its body.
Bulls suffocated in '20-min torture fest'
Umkhosi Ukweshwama is a coming of age celebration in South Africa where young men chase a bull around an enclosure and kill it.
According to The National, it can take more than 20 minutes for the animal to die – typically by being smothered, strangled or having its neck broken.
Bulls darted & stabbed
Toro de la Vega, in Spain, is now banned but previously saw one young bull being tortured and killed as part of a medieval tournament that dated back to the 16th century.
The animal would be struck with darts, stabbed with spears and had its tail cut-off before being killed as part of a 500-year-old traditional event.
The individual who landed the final killing blow would be awarded a ceremonial spear and medal.
In 2019, Spain’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal to overturn a ban that prohibited the slaughter of bulls as part of the festival.
While killing is no longer permitted, organisers are allowed to let the riled-up and distressed animal charge through the streets.
The council’s rejected appeal argued there were “40,000 fans” of the event “compared to 100 animal activists” who opposed it.
PETA "celebrated" the ban of the event and commended 100 other towns in Spain for banning bullfighting.
Oxen ‘beaten, stabbed & blinded with hot pepper’
Farra do Boi, which means ‘Festival of the Ox’, used to run from February up until Easter before it was banned in Brazil in 1997.
The event, which led to the painful death of "countless oxen", allegedly still goes on in some parts of the country, according to animal rights activists.
PETA reported animals are starved before being “chased, punched, kicked and beaten” with an array of weapons including “knives, wipes, stones and ropes”.
Shockingly, they allege oxen’s eyes are “rubbed with hot pepper and gouged out” – others are reportedly “doused with gasoline and set on fire”.
In one petition that hoped to end the practice, it was claimed that animals are tortured for up to three days.
Once all the oxen are dead, meat from the animals is then distributed among the participants.
According to the beliefs of attendees, the oxen symbolically represented Judas, who “betrayed Jesus and thus must be punished”.
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