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China celebrate there dog meat festival but virus takes a toll

Published by on June 23rd, 2020.


 

 

Police officials carry food as they walk in the grounds of a closed bus station near the closed Xinfadi marketplace in Beijing on June 13, 2020. GREG BAKER / AFP
Police officials carry food as they walk in the grounds of a closed bus station near the closed Xinfadi market in Beijing on June 13, 2020. GREG BAKER / AFP
Volunteers at a Beijing dog shelter hand out treats to dozens of rescued animals which have been certain for a controversial canine meat competition under way this week in southern China.

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The annual event in Yulin city constantly provokes outrage from animal rights activists, but this 12 months they desire the coronavirus epidemic might be the demise knell of a subculture they see as cruel.

It is “inhumane and barbaric”, said Jeffrey Bari, founding father of the No Dogs Left Behind organisation, which continues around 200 dogs in big twine enclosures at the outskirts of the Chinese capital and re-houses them.

Activists save loads of dogs every 12 months with the aid of raiding slaughterhouses and intercepting trucks. They say traders steal pets and strays and shipping them lengthy distances, frequently to the country’s south.

“You experience a kind of fulfillment due to the fact you’ve modified some canine’s life,” said Ling, who volunteers at the centre.

Dog meat is traditionally believed to be properly for the fitness in certain elements of China, however the addiction has been in steady decline as more and more affluent urban dwellers select to preserve the animals as pets.

The COVID-19 outbreak seems to have further reduced the urge for food for canine meat after the disease was related to a marketplace inside the central city of Wuhan selling animals for meals.

Amid growing issues approximately hygiene, China fast-tracked laws banning the consumption and change of wildlife.

While the law does not practice to canine meat, Shenzhen and Zhuhai — southern towns no longer some distance from Yulin — banned the consumption of dogs in April, turning into the first towns in China to do so.

And remaining month the agriculture ministry reclassified puppies as companion animals, now not livestock, though it did now not explicitly prohibit consuming them.

– Falling attendance –
Video pictures of this yr’s Yulin canine meat competition verified by AFP shows dozens of animals crammed in small, grimy cages and butchers at several massive stalls piled high with dog carcasses.

But restaurant workers involved inside the week-lengthy event, which they say started out Sunday and has been renamed the “Yulin Summer Solstice Festival”, instructed AFP that attendance turned into down.

“The wide variety of arriving customers has dropped a lot,” stated a person surnamed Chen.

He stated the canine meat eating place where he works might open as everyday this competition without any unique activities or pricing like in past years.

Some posts on the Chinese social community Weibo called for the pageant to be cancelled completely after COVID-19 and a current sparkling outbreak of the disease in Beijing connected to a wholesale meals marketplace.

“Is it no longer enough that (the festival) is infamous at some stage in the world? Where will food safety turn out to be a reality… Stop this rattling pageant at once,” one user wrote.

Experts pointed to a shift in public attitudes closer to dog meat intake and food safety in the wake of the virus.

idea for China’s first nationwide regulation banning animal cruelty obtained extensive public support for the duration of the once a year parliamentary session in May, while a viral video of a Chinese university student torturing a cat sparked mass public outcry in April.

Chen stated neither police nor the government had ordered his eating place to stop promoting canine meat due to the animal’s reclassification as pets.

“I might say that (the rule) impacted the relaxation of the country and those were talking approximately it, however I did no longer see it having an immediate impact at the dog meat exchange in Yulin,” said Peter Li of the animal rights organization Humane Society International.

Despite the efforts of activists and issues approximately hygiene, the Yulin event has endured with the local government’s tacit permission.

“Most of the activities associated with the sale of dog meat there are in violation of present Chinese meals protection regulations,” stated Deborah Cao, professor of animal law and ethics at Griffith University in Australia.

But she said “present food safety legal guidelines in China are not enforced in maximum instances” and there is “no accountability.”

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