Talk of China dog meat festival ban all bark, no bite: restaurants

Pauline Gross
May 19, 2017

The organizations cited reports from Chinese animal rights crusaders and dog meat traders in Yulin.

The Yulin government has banned the city's dog meat vendors from selling the meat for one week starting June 15, the USA -based Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project and Humane Society International (HSI) said in a joint statement, citing unidentified local contacts.

Chinese authorities have banned dog meat sales at the country's notorious Yulin dog-eating festival, two US nonprofit organizations reported Wednesday.

Humane Society International, joining Duo Duo in celebration, reports that more than 10 million dogs - and four million cats - are killed each year in China for consumption.

In an interview with the BBC, Li said the policy appears to stem from the new Communist Party secretary of Yulin, Mo Gong Ming, who wants to improve the city's reputation around the world. "Restaurants have been told to remove the dishes, and as Yulin has always been about commerce rather than culture, I think it's unlikely that traders and restaurant owners would go to the trouble of putting themselves out of pocket", Higgins says in an email. I've not heard of it.

Thousands of dogs and cats are slaughtered annually at the controversial event, with millions signing calls for an end to the festival every year. As opposition to this trade has grown within China and across the world, much focus has been placed on the Yulin festival and so it is significant politically that the authorities are taking the outrage to curb this cruelty seriously.

It might not be permanent, and it might not be too strictly enforced, but Chinese authorities have banned dog meat sales at this year's upcoming Yulin dog-eating festival, according to two US nonprofit organizations.

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Humane Society International and the Duo Duo Project, two activist groups that have campaigned to end the trade, said multiple Chinese sources had confirmed the ban and hailed it as a "milestone victory".

China's Yulin Festival, infamous for brutally killing thousands of dogs and cats each year in order to sell their meat, is set to ban the sale of dog meat just weeks ahead of the 2017 event.

'At last year's Yulin festival there were roadblocks set up to deter dog trucks coming in, and now this ban signals further progress. "I hope this will turn out to be the beginning of the end of the dog eating habit in China".

The Yulin government will prohibit the sale of dog meat in restaurants, markets and other commercial centres from June 15, Efe reported.

Last year, a petition with 11 million signatures was handed in to the Yulin government in Beijing on behalf of Humane Society International, Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project, RaiseUrPaw, Care2 and Avaaz.

Late Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher and comedian Ricky Gervais are among the celebrities to back the outcry. The 10-day festival is slated to begin on June 21. On Monday, the first 11 of the 23 saved dogs were brought to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria near Washington, D.C., where they will be monitored and eventually made available for adoption.

Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project, said while dogs and cats would still likely be slaughtered, it was encouraging evidence of a political will inside China to clamp down on the trade. "Every single one of them is as precious as my dear Gary, every one of them is someone's best friend".

Other reports by GizPress

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