China’s dog meat festival at Yuin city of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in mainland China despite the government’s drive to avert the consumption of pets and wildlife for meat due to numerous health reasons.
According to a report in the New York Post , this 10-day annual festival usually attracts huge sum of visitors in the south western city of Yulin, many of whom buy dogs which are kept on display in cramped cages.
However, campaigners said that the numbers this year had diminished massively, with hopes that this year marks the end of this event.
“I do hope Yulin will change, not only for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its people,” said Peter Li, China policy specialist with the Humane Society International, an animal rights group.
“Allowing mass gatherings to trade in and consume dog meat in crowded markets and restaurants in the name of a festival poses a significant public health risk,” he added.
The COVID-19, which presumably originated in horseshoe bats before it infected humans at a market place in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has forced the Chinese government to reassess its correlation with animals and has promised to ban the wildlife trade.
Back in February, China implemented a ban on the sale and consumption of wild animals, such as snakes, bats — saying that the issue had become a major health concern.
Later in April, Shenzhen became the first city in China to completely ban the consumption of dogs, with others expected to follow.
The agriculture ministry also decided to declare and classify dogs as pets rather than livestock. However, it still remains vague how the reclassification will affect Yulin’s trade.
Zhang Qianqian, an animal rights activist, while speaking on the topic said: “From what we understand from our conversations with meat sellers, leaders have said the consumption of dog meat won’t be allowed in future.”
“But banning dog meat consumption is going to be hard and will take some time,” she added.