China’s Yulin festival takes place on the summer solstice of every year, meaning the festival is just weeks away from commencing. 10 million dogs and around 4 million cats are killed every year in China for their meat, a food considered to be a delicacy.
When the festival was most popular, we witnessed the slaughter of over 15,000 dogs in just a 7 day period.
Many of the dogs are stolen from people’s houses or are strays grabbed from the street. Typical practice sees the dogs caged, brutally beaten to death, skinned and then cooked whole.
However, traders at Yulin’s biggest dog meat market have confirmed that the Yulin government is set to prohibit restaurants, street vendors and market traders from selling dog meat at the event.
This is according to animal campaigners Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project and Humane Society International who have also received similar reports from Chinese activists.
The ban comes in the wake of over 11 million people signing a petition organised by Humane Society International and other charities which was handed into the local government.
To ensure the ban is enforced, Communist officials working under the area’s new Party Secretary Mo Gong Ming will oversee the ban, which comes into effect on June 15 — a week before the festival begins.
Police will have the authority to issue huge £11,000 fines to anyone breaching the new order.
However, the festival is still barbaric. There is currently no protection for cats, meaning that their meat will be available for sale and consumption.
“Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade,” Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Project, told Time magazine.
While the reality of the Yulin festival is sickening, we must remember that 75 billion animals are tortured and murdered every year for their meat. Dogs and cats show the same emotion and feel the same pain as cows and pigs. Compassion should be universal.