Animal rights activists join forces at Trafalgar Square protest

Animal rights protesters gathered at Westminster’s Trafalgar Square today.

Members of All Animals are Sentient and Yulin/Boknal Celebs, which campaign against the mistreatment of animals in south east Asia, gathered for allied demonstration at 1pm.

They are specifically opposed to the trade in dog and cat meat in this region and hope their efforts will help to publicise the campaign against this practice –while remaining strictly non-political.

Wendy Harris of Yulin/Boknal Celebs said: “We don’t make any political statements, we’re just here for the animals and to draw attention to the cruelty in China.”

Expanding upon the nature of her group she said: “The reason we’re called Yulin/Boknal Celebs is because celebs is one of the most Googled terms on the internet so hopefully that will help us to show up on people’s feeds.”

Group member Julie Gerreli said: “It’s campaigning against the global cat-dog meat trade, it’s not just the meat, it’s the torture, the animals are routinely boiled, they’re skinned alive, they’re tortured in the belief it will make the meat taste more tender.”

An estimated 30 million dogs are slaughtered for meat in south east Asia each year, 10 million of them in China alone – in addition to 4 million cats, according to the Animals Asia charity.

This slaughter is often carried out as part of China’s annual Yulin Meat Festival.

Around 300 people pledged to attend the Facebook-organised Westminster demonstration, however, on the day itself numbers were with less than a third of that number in attendance.

Animal rights campaigner Ricky Burnett said: “We’re just here for the animals and to put pressure on politicians to end this cruelty.”

He added: “We’re here today to protest against cruelty to animals all over the world but particularly against animals in China, Vietnam and Korea because of the barbaric cruelty they commit against cats and dogs.

“When people say ‘well we eat cows and sheep’ yes, but they’re not barbarically slaughtered.

“It’s barbaric, it’s cruel, it’s unethical – no animal should have to go though cruelty.”

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