China: 10-day dog meat festival kicks off, despite resurgence in COVID-19 cases


China: 10-day dog meat festival kicks off, despite resurgence in COVID-19 cases

In spite of China dealing with the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the controversial dog meat festival has commenced in the Yulin City of Guangxi Zhuang, the autonomous region in mainland China.

Although this festival faces the wrath of the animal rights activists every time, it was expected that the Coronavirus pandemic would put an end to this tradition this year. Yet, this year too, the festival kicked off in defiance of a government campaign that seeks to look into animal welfare, and at the same time, reduce risks to health that came into light in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

As per the law in China, “Dogs are classified as companions, not livestock.” And the government is also formulating new laws to protect pets and prohibit wildlife trade. Reportedly, despite the said law, Yulin dog festival is being held and more than 10,000 dogs will likely be slaughtered this year as well.

This annual 10-day festival that commenced on June 21 attracts tons of visitors, many of whom buy the dogs that are crammed into wire cages and driven for days without food to slaughterhouses, after which their carcasses are hooked up at the meat market, as per the reports. Most of these dogs are often injured or sick, many of which die on the transport trucks because of shock, dehydration, heatstroke, and suffocation, whereas those that survive the journey majorly suffer from low immunity.

Campaigners, who have been raising their voice against this festival, opine that this year’s event might be the last.

Further, people gathering in large numbers to consume dog meat during such a festival will pose risk to public health. In February, China put a temporary ban on exotic meat markets, after facing a global backlash. However, the Yulin festival proves that China still has a long way to go in terms of reforms.

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