You’d think eating random animals – not to mention pets – in China would be frowned upon at this point. But a little global pandemic hasn’t stopped organizers from kicking off a 10 day dog meat festival, despite pushback from activists and government, according to the South China Morning Post. This despite earlier reports that China would no longer market dogs as livestock.
The festival is known to attract “thousands of visitors” who buy dogs “for the pot” that are on display. Animal rights activists are trying diligently to get the festival disbanded permanently.
Animal rights activist Peter Li said: “I do hope Yulin will change, not only for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its people. 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.”
The article claims that the coronavirus has forced China to “reassess its relationship with animals”, although with an event like, well, a 10 day dog meat festival, it appears to us the country has a lot more reassessing to do.
Back in April, Shenzhen banned the consumption of dogs and other provinces are expected to follow suit. The agriculture ministry also decided to classify dogs as pets instead of livestock, SCMP noted. That did not last long.
Another activist, Zhang Qianqian, 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.”