AN ESTIMATED 15,000 dogs will be tortured and eaten this week at a festival held in a Chinese autonomous region twinned with Newport.

The decade-old Yulin Dog Festival has in recent years gained notoriety for harrowing footage emerging of dogs and cats being tortured and consumed.

Newport councillors unanimously agreed in January to the writing of a ‘strong-worded letter’ to the Wuzhou Municipal People's Government (WMPG) in Guangxi to condemn the festival.

Despite the letter being submitted four months ago, a response has not been received by Newport City Council.

Council leader Cllr Debbie Wilcox said: "I can confirm that no response has been received to my letter of February [19] and we are chasing a response.

South Wales Argus:

(Cllr Debbie Wilcox)

"It is unlikely however, that the letter alone will cause the WMPG to change its approach to the Festival but it will add to the chorus of condemnation that the WMPG receives on the topic.

"The letter is the best and strongest expression of condemnation that the council can send. It is doubtful that any further representation or action will have any greater impact."

The local authority decided to submit another letter to WMPG on May 31 and again did not receive a reply, according to leader of the city council opposition group, Cllr Matthew Evans.

“I said from the beginning that a strongly-worded letter needed to be sent," said the Conservative councillor.

“Having seen some of the photos and videos of what happens at the festival it is barbaric.

“I asked the council if they had received a letter from the Chinese provincial government. Having not even had the courtesy of a reply [from the WMPG] I asked if they had re-sent it.

"I suggested sending a follow-up letter and they then did. They only sent the follow-up letter after I pushed for it.

“We cannot idly stand by and allow this cruelty to continue."


South Wales Argus:

(Cllr Matthew Evans)

Previously a petition was launched in October 2018, demanding that Newport council cut ties with Guangxi until the dog-eating festival ceases.

So far, more than 34,000 people have signed the petition


Newport has been linked with the autonomous region since 1996, but a council meeting in January heard that the relationship is ‘'dormant''.

According to the council's website Newport officials last visited China in 1999, with Chinese representatives visited the city in 2004 for the National Eisteddfod.