Heartbreaking News: Yulin Will NOT Be Banning Dog Meat Sales at This Year’s Festival

What the hell is going on?

Last month, people and dogs the world over were celebrating over the news that China’s Yulin Festival was finally banning the sale of dog meat. The decision was seen as a landmark victory for animal lovers worldwide, particularly Lisa Vanderpump who has dedicated years of effort to stopping Yulin. (Lisa and husband Ken Todd co-founded Stop Yulin Forever.)

Despite the fact that the dog meat ban had not yet been signed into law, Yulin's Party Secretary, Mo Gong Ming, had, in fact, initiated the ban and planned for it to go into effect on June 15. (Violators would risk fines up to 100,000 yuan [~$14,000] and arrest.)

But tragically, June 15 has come and gone and the law has not taken effect—and now there it’s just three weeks until the Yulin Festival officially kicks off with no dog meat sale ban in sight.

The Yulin Publicity Department has told The Beijing News that there will be no ban because the Yulin Festival is not a government-authorized event. In an official statement from Animals Asia’s Cat and Dog Welfare Director Irene Fang, it became clear that this awful news is, in fact, legit:

“It seems likely there will not be an overt ban on dog meat sales in the city of Yulin during this year’s summer solstice. However, we do believe that the government has had enough and wants to end the global association of Yulin city with the minority practice of eating dog meat. The will may be there, but as long as dog meat eating is legal in China it is difficult for any one locality to issue its own ban. It’s possible that this year the Yulin government did indeed try to implement a soft ban and issued it verbally, but due to the leak, their intentions to be discrete were made more difficult.”

While we are devastated to hear this news, we are hopeful that this was merely an issue of timing. (The quick turnaround for the ban could be difficult given the murky parameters of the festival’s “official” status.) But on the positive side, it has become clear that China is aware of the global backlash, and officials do seem to be listening.

Fang continued: “What the situation crystalises is that the international attention given to Yulin for one week of the year is becoming a distraction from the much larger issue of the dog meat trade’s activities every single day of the year across the country. That is the real issue and it requires a consistent and holistic approach—it can’t be solved in a week.”

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