WAV Comment 19/6/20:
We are just as confused as a lot of other people. The question is; what will happen this year (2020) ? – is the Yulin dog meat ‘festival’ on or off ?
With the Chinese government recently changing the classification of dogs a few weeks ago, so that they are NOT now ‘livestock’ and instead are ‘companion animals’; and hence ones which cannot be eaten; we would think that the slaughter and consumption of dog at any facility, such as the Yulin ‘festival’, would now be illegal.
If this is the case, we wait too see what the authorities are going to do about Yulin; as there is a lot of talk in the circuit that the festival will continue due to pressure from meat traders.
Legally, the case is now as we understand it:
China’s new National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources was very recently announced, with dogs not included on the list.
It is extremely encouraging to see this landmark decision that reflects the growing concern for animal welfare in China, following on as it has from the regulations passed earlier this year in Shenzhen and Zhuhai banning the consumption of cats and dogs.
This new catalogue policy means all the dog restaurants, markets and slaughterhouses countrywide selling dogs for food are now illegal.
From the Independent; London:
The announcement today from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs came as a final Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry was published and omitted dogs from the long list of animals allowed to be commercially bred, raised and traded.
A government spokesperson said that the majority of people who took part in a public consultation process opposed including dogs as livestock, adding that dogs have long been domesticated as “companions” and “pets” who guard the family home; act as search and rescue animals for police and assist those with visual impairment.
The spokesperson said that with the changing times, “some traditional customs about dogs will change too”. He added that more policies regarding dogs would follow but did not elaborate, the Daily Mail reported.
The announcement is in line with draft guidelines drawn up by China in April to reclassify dogs as pets rather than livestock.
The decision comes ahead of the Yulin dog meat festival next month, where thousands of dogs are butchered, skinned and cooked with blow-torches. It is scheduled to run for nine days from 21 June in the city, located in the Guangxi province.
Humane Society International (HSI) estimates that 10m dogs are slaughtered in China annually and said that many are stolen from homes and taken off the streets ahead of the Yulin festival.
The World Health Organisation has warned that the dog trade spreads rabies and increases the risk of cholera.
A 2017 survey revealed that in Yulin, nearly three-quarters of people don’t regularly eat dog meat despite efforts by traders to promote it. A 2016 nationwide survey found that 64 per cent of Chinese citizens wanted the Yulin festival shut down and 69.5 per cent have never eaten dog meat.
Dr Peter Li, HSI’s China policy specialist, said that the Yulin festival was a “bloody spectacle [which] does not reflect the mood or eating habits of the majority of the Chinese people”.
He said: “Now that the Chinese government has officially recognised dogs as companions and not livestock, we are hopeful that China will take stronger step to hasten the end of the dog and cat meat trade for which millions of animals continue to suffer every year.
“The announcement presents cities across China with the perfect opportunity to act upon the government’s words by protecting dogs and cats from the meat trade thieves and slaughterhouses.”
China’s ministry of agriculture noted that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s livestock list does not include dogs and said that internationally, dogs are not treated as livestock.
In April, the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai, were the first in China to officially ban the consumption of cat and dog meat.
The finalised livestock list did officially declare a number of wild animals as “livestock” including several deer species, alpaca, guinea-fowl and the three most commonly farmed wild species for China’s fur trade – racoon dog, silver fox and mink.
The coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, China late last year. Covid-19 is thought to have originated in horseshoe bats and passed to humans via an intermediary species.
In response to the outbreak, China issued a temporary ban on all trade and consumption of wild animals and is considering revising legislation to make the ban permanent.
Last week authorities in Wuhan officially banned the eating of all wild animals and said the city would become a “wildlife sanctuary”. Currently, the ban lasts for five years.
Further WAV Comment:
We are lucky here in the UK that Carrie Symonds; partner of the UK Prime Minister, is an animal welfare campaigner. As such, she has recently been in the UK press campaigning on the issue of the Yuli dog meat festival – you can read about it and see photos via the following link:
Yulin 2020 We need your Help
London Yulin Demonstration – 19/6.
We have written letters, we have signed petitions and now we are taking to the streets.
Despite the fact the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture confirmed just a few weeks ago that dogs and cats are not livestock. Despite the fact we are in the middle of a pandemic. There is still signs the disgusting Yulin Dog Meat Festival will go ahead.
Our Activists our on the ground ready to stop trucks and we will offer sanctuary in our China shelter to dogs saved.
What else can you do?
Donate to help our work and help us safe dogs
There is a demo in London today, 19/6, on the issue of Yulin. Our van is already there. Our lovely rescue Anastasia facing the Embassy saying loud and clear Dogs are not food.
Read it all at:
WAV last comment – as we say, the Yulin festival should not now take place; but despite the petitions and the demos; as per one in London today; there is no guarantee that the festival will stop next week – it is due to start for 9 days on 21/6.
All we can hope is that the Chinese authorities enforce the ban on the slaughter of dogs for consumption, and as such stop the Yulin festival. We are watching the situation and will further report when we have news. 21/6 is going to be a very important day; a Go or NOGO situation for the mass slaughter of many dogs at Yulin.
We will report more when we have further news;