In what can only be described as a huge victory for dog and animal lovers around the world, China has banned the sale of dog meat during the annual Yulin dog meat festival. For those who are unaware, festival is a barbaric and cruel gathering over several days in which thousands of dogs are stolen off the street or kidnapped from homes and taken to Yulin where they are bludgeoned and tortured in front of each other before they are eaten by spectators. But this latest development shows that an end to this festival might not be so far off.
Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Project, says: “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. I am very impressed that the younger generation in Yulin and in China is as compassionate as their counterparts in the rest of world.”
And her sentiments are echoed by Peter Li, China Policy specialist at Humane Society International: “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 symbolise China’s crime-fuelled dog meat trade. Millions of dogs and cats are stolen each year, including pets, and driven thousands of miles across China to be bludgeoned to death in front of each other.” He continued, “Regrettably, many dogs and cats will still be killed for the Yulin festival in advance of the ban, so their suffering is not over yet, but this is certainly a milestone victory and we commend the Yulin authorities for taking this action.”
What began as an event in 2010 to consume dog meat and celebrate the summer solstice has ignited outrage all over the world. 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 Project, RaiseUrPaw, Care2 and Avaaz. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., introduced a congressional resolution last year condemning the Yulin dog meat festival and urging China to end its dog meat trade. He reintroduced it this year, and H. Res. 30 already has the bipartisan support of 153 cosponsors.
And celebrities from the late Carrie Fisher to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump have vocalized their opposition to Yulin. Lisa’s initial response to the news was extremely emotional. “I actually cried for 10 minutes, I just sat there,” she revealed.