Pets in ‘truck from hell’ saved from being butchered for dog meat festival

Rescuers have saved dozens of dogs on a "truck from hell" before they were sent to be "made into soup" at a sick festival.

The controversial Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, which is set to start on June 22 and will see thousands of captured stray dogs and pets being blow-torched and cooked into exotic delicacies in southwest China.

Video shared by animal charity NoToDogMeat shows campaigners and police stopping a truck at a checkpoint as it heads from the Gaoling district of Xi'an to the barbaric torture festival on Saturday (June 18).

The truck carries hundreds of terrified pooches that have been rounded up from villages and kept in tiny crates for days with no water and no food.

As the officers questions the driver on the roadside, the desperate canines bark and cry for help while volunteers try to deliver water to keep them hydrated.

According to the animal rights group, the truck was impounded and the illegally transported dogs will soon be handed over to the campaigners, who will then give the dogs veterinary care and a safe home.

This coms after the campaigners' colleagues busted another truck, which was destined to send 2,000 dogs from central China to Yulin last week.

The operation began earlier this week when in a stake-out in a village close to the city of Hebei, NoToDogMeat rescuers discovered a truck being loaded with hundreds of desperate dogs.

Rescuer Zhao pleaded with the workers to spare some of the dogs, but was told that unless he could come up with a significant sum of money their fate would be sealed.

Mr Zhao, 45 who runs NoToDogMeat's shelters in Beijing and Hebei, which currently house around 700 rescued dogs, said: "It has taken a long time and a lot of work to identify the truck, but we are hopeful of a positive outcome.

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"They should not be travelling, and Yulin should not be going ahead.

"This rescue has been a team effort with multiple campaigners from multiple organisations, all united to stop this horrible trade and cruelty."

Julia de Cadenet, founder of NoToDogMeat, said: "It is the Chinese activists and grass roots charities who are risking themselves to act in these situations. Mr Zhao is a superhero.

"As a charity we have very few resources, but we always do our best to act quickly on information we receive, to help these poor dogs, many of whom will be people's stolen pets."

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