In a huge win for animal rights activists, the sale of dog meat will be banned at the controversial Yulin Festival in China this year.
According to the South China Morning Post, the ban will go into effect a week prior to the festival’s June 21 opening. An estimated 10 million to 20 million dogs are killed for their meat each year in China, the article stated.
"The Yulin government is set to prohibit restaurants, street vendors and market traders from selling dog meat at the event,” a press release from the Humane Society International and the Duo Duo Project stated. Those who violate the ban risk arrest and fines of up to 100,000 yuan.
The efforts of both the Humane Society International and the Duo Duo Project struck a chord with millions around the world who have signed petitions urging the halt of the cruel and unsafe festival.
While the victory is a cautious one, as the ban is temporary for the time being, both groups consider the news to be a step in the right direction.
“The Yulin dog meat festival is not over just yet, but if this news is true as we hope, it is a really big nail in the coffin for a gruesome event that has come to symbolize China’s crime-fueled dog meat trade,” said Peter Li, China policy specialist at Humane Society International.
Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Project, echoed this sentiment. “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 said. “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.”
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