Activists Say China’s Dog Meat Festival Has Been Cancelled This Year

The Yulin festival has been widely criticized for the brutal mass slaughtering of dogs that occurs yearly.

According to Animal Rights activists, this year’s dog meat festival has been cancelled by authorities in Yulin, China. 

Dogs for sale are kept in a cage in Dashichang dog market on the day of local dog meat festival in Yulin

What is the Yulin Dog Meat Festival?

There has been a growing international outrage towards China’s annual Yulin dog meat festival, where approximately 2,000 canines are gathered and kept in small cages in preparation for the festival, before being killed and cooked in rather gruesome ways.

According to activists, the majority of the 10 million dogs and cats killed in China every year for meat are stolen pets and strays. According to the WHO, the dog and cat meat trades are unregulated and help in the spread of cholera and rabies. China reportedly has the largest numbers of rabies cases in the world- with around 2,000 deaths per year in the last decade, with 90 percent of these cases caused by dog bites.

About the Cancellation

This year’s festival was set to start on June 21st, but the city’s new Chinese Communist Party Secretary Mo Gong Ming has ordered its cancellation. Those who defy the ban will be facing a $15,000 fine.

This was reportedly to try and restore Yulin’s image after it faced immense criticism due to the festival over the past couple of years. Last year, over 11 million people signed a petition calling for the ending of the festival.

However, it remains unclear how the ban will be enforced, since the festival brings in large amounts of revenue to the city every year. Many are doubtful about the government’s capacity to enforce such a ban, especially since the event has never been officially sanctioned before.

Comments on the Cancellation

Andrea Gung, the executive director of Duo Duo Project, an anti-dog and cat meat campaign group, said: “Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade. This ban is consistent with my experience that Yulin and the rest of the country are changing for the better.”