For a moment the dog world was relieved. "Yulin", known for the cruel slaughtermethods and the "Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival", put a ban on dog meat. Duo Duo Project, an organization fighting the Dog meat trade organization, linked to the Human Society International, brought the news. Sources within the local government of Yulin had told the organisation. However every official confirmation for the message is missing, and press and public may be deceived.
In addition, what does this "ban on dog meat" actually contain? Nothing more than a vague promise of the new party secretary of Yulin, Mo Gong Ming. This "ban", according to Wendy Higgins of the Human Society International, would also be a personal decision of the new party secretary. By the way, it is unclear whether Mo Gong Ming is already in office, Yulin's official site does not mention him as a party secretary. The ban-rumours were spread from the towns municipality through "sources". Nor is it a ban on eating, torturing and slaughtering dogs, but a ban on selling dog meat for just one week, from June 15 to June 22. Nothing permanent, a one-week measure that ends on the second day of the 10-day festival.
From the 22nd dog meat can be bought again. And, if it were indeed a measure, Yulin's official webpage makes no mention of it whatsoever, all is based on unknown sources within the government and, as the HSI tells on its site through it's spokesman Peter Li, some traders in Yulin itself . Neither Peter Li nor John Sessa of the Vanderpump organization respond to questions to confirm the rumors, despite insistence.
"No, that is not the case," says Marc Ching of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, an organization that successfully pursued the awfull practices in Yulin last year and who will travel to Yulin again this year to take action. Ching buys slaughterhouses, rehomes the dogs (usually in the US) and helps the former breeders to a new way of earning their money. "There is national coverage by many publications indicating that the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is over." That's not true. "We have information coming directly from those associated with the government indicating the opposite." Ching has close contact with the local government in Yulin, and is the only organization allowed to take action, despite the fact that he is also faced with profound opposition by corrupt officials and police and, of course, traders.
It is not the first time that the "Festival" suddenly has positive news just before the Festival. A few years ago, in 2011, the Festival would also be abolished under international pressure. The "age-old" tradition (which only began a few decades ago as a marketing campaign for the poor city of Yulin) continued. Last year, a ban on the public slaughter of dogs was advocated by the city council of Yulin, a measure that only caused the slaughter to move back to the underground circuit, which caused the idea that of less dogs were being killed in the prey of horrors in 2016.
Even now, despite the happy messages that spread through the media, trucks are transporting thousands of dogs every day to the provincial capital for the last weeks. Dogs specially bred to become food, stolen pets, whether or not with health declarations, they most likely expect a bitter fate to be cooked alive, hung up or chopped slowly. Because Yulin may not be an age-old tradition, the thought that dog meat would give more strength if the dog is tortured before his death is true.
But cheering activists are well-liked by the Chinese government. The activists, sure of their victory, will stay at home, the announcement of Yulin's coming weeks will not draw negative attention to China, and in the meantime the dogs will fall by the thousands. Out of sight from the media view, misled by messages.
Nevertheless, the media reports remain largely positive. The Sun, The Mirror, The Independant, and even Chinese newspapers bring the news as a victory. Activists like Lisa Vanderpump "I cried for 10 minutes" and in the Netherlands "Fur for Animals", bring the news on their websites. Action group Animals Asia is a little more cautious, "Local authorities have not yet released an announcement, although Animals Asia sources in Yulin claim a" secret ban "has been instigated by the local Food and Drug Administration.
Restaurators, markets and slaughterhouses were told in late April they would face fines if found to be selling dog meat in the week following June 15, with the festival falling on June 21. Sources differ as to how long the moratorium will continue, some state meat will once again be sold on the 22nd, while others claim it will not end until the 24th. "Also the BBC has doubts now." Yet doubts remain over what has been said, and some vendors told the BBC they had heard nothing about a ban. "
Whether the ban is coming or not, at least it seems that it is for making the international public look the other way. Just like last year, when the public slaughter of dogs was banned. For the time being it is only rumors that no dog meat can be sold for 7 days, and even if these rumors are true, it will not stop the slaughter, the eating of dogs, the torture practices, but the most important thing is that the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is not canceled!
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