- By: Laura Goldman
- May 17, 2017
During the Dog Meat Festival that’s been held each year since 2010 in Yulin, China, thousands of dogs – some of them stolen pets – are brutally beaten to death and then sold for their meat.
For years, activists have worked hard to put an end to this terrible event, and finally their efforts are apparently paying off. Yulin will reportedly ban the sale of dog meat during this year’s festival, scheduled to begin June 21.
Humane Society International (HSI) announced the potentially wonderful news today that the Yulin government will prohibit restaurants, street vendors and market traders from selling dog meat at the event. Anyone caught doing so will be fined up to 100,000 yuan (about $14,512) and face a jail sentence.
News of the ban was received by HSI and the nonprofit Duo Duo Project from Chinese animal welfare activists. It was confirmed by three traders at Yulin’s largest dog meat market.
The temporary ban, which will go into effect June 15, is believed to have been initiated by Mo Gong Ming, Yulin’s new party secretary, according to HSI.
Although the ban will only last for the duration of the festival, HSI said it is “a milestone victory in the ongoing campaign to end mass dog and cat slaughter at Yulin, and is evidence of growing political will from inside China to clamp down on the trade.”
Along with HSI, Andrea Gung, executive director of the Duo Duo Project, a group that advocates for ending the killing of dogs and cats for delicacy food in China, is cautiously optimistic. “Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade,” she stated. During several visits to Yulin over the past two years, Gung said she has witnessed changes for the better. She’s impressed with the compassion of the younger generation in Yulin and in China, and congratulated Mo Gong Ming for his “progressive and visionary leadership.”
Each year in Asia, 30 million dogs are killed for their meat, including 10 to 20 million in China. Last month, Taiwan made history by becoming the only country in Asia to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat. It had previously prohibited the slaughter of these animals and sale of their meat.
Could China be next? The majority of Chinese – about 64 percent – want to ban the Yulin dog meat festival, according to a 2016 poll. About 52 percent want to end the dog meat trade. Most of those opposing it are young people.
Last June, a Care2 petition with 11 million signatures that called for an end to the Yulin dog meat festival was delivered to the Chinese embassy in London. The late, great Carrie Fisher gathered with campaigners outside the embassy to send the petition on its way.
The global efforts of Care2 members are obviously helping to make a difference. The next step is to make the dog and cat meat ban permanent in Yulin and throughout China. Please join more than 1.2 million Care2 members by signing and sharing this petition by Lisa Vanderpump to stop the cruel Yulin Dog Meat Festival.