Yulin's dog meat festival will have a hard time selling meat this year because of this new ban.
Thanks to a new Communist party official in the city of Yulin, a huge change has just made its way into the area that claims the lives of tens of thousands of animals every year in what is now an infamous festival. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival, invented in 2010 to boost sales for traders, has sparked massive controversy throughout the world and caused many animal lovers and activists to travel to the city in order to save as many animals as possible.
The change comes in the form of a ban on selling dog meat restaurants, street vendors and markets that will go into effect just one week before the start of Yulin’s dog meat. After years of pressure to end the festival completely, animal rights groups are rejoicing at this news, even though it’s likely only temporary.
“Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade. I have visited Yulin many times in the last two years. This ban is consistent with my experience that Yulin and the rest of the country are changing for the better,” said Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project.
Those caught violating this new law are subject to nearly $15,000 in fines and will be arrested. Those in favor of the ban have pointed out that enforcement is the key to making this new policy work, but the hefty fines are a sign that this will not be taken lightly. Gung pointed to the younger generations in China and their growing compassion, likely stemming from online campaigns and the fact that most of China doesn’t support the eating of dog meat. The new political party in office, with Mo Gong Ming as Secretary, has taken a progressive stance on the matter and enacted the new ban shortly after taking office.
The dog meat festival is a horrible annual event that takes place in the prefecture-level of Yulin, which is predominantly wrought with poverty and draws countless visitors each year. The festival contributes to the 10 million dogs and 4 million cats that are killed for food in China each year, but, sadly, the new ban does not include cats. Each year at the festival, these creatures are slaughtered in the most inhumane ways after enduring several days of cramped cages with no food or water and being handled like careless objects. Many believe that the meat tastes better if the animal dies in a cruel manner, leading to the unspeakable methods with which these animals are killed. To make matters even worse, many of these animals are stolen pets who arrive at the festival with their collars still on, leaving both the animals and humans to wonder what fate lies ahead of them. All of that is about to change this year, with the ban going into effect June 15.
“We have had confirmation from Yulin on the ground from several different sources who tell us that the traders have been made aware of the order, and that it follows the new party boss’s desire to convert the city into a ‘city of culture and civilization,’” Wendy Higgins, director of international media for HSI, told The Dodo.
With global exposure of the issue and a strong resistance to the entire event and the practices, it’s possible that this temporary ban could lead to strict enforcement and a permanent ban in the future. Animal rights advocates and groups all around the world are continuing to fight for this cause to show their support for the current ban and urge party leaders to extend it and end the dog meat trade once and for all.