Last month, animal activists everywhere celebrated a brief victory when reports suggested that the Moran Market in Korea would be closing its doors. Unfortunately, this claim was withdrawn after Moran’s City Mayor clarified that he only intends to “clean up the market’s image” by forbidding the slaughter and sale of live dogs on site. In other words, the sale of dog meat will continue. But there may be more reason for optimism elsewhere in Asia.
On May 17, Humane Society International (HSI) shared the news that the government in the southern Chinese city of Yulin, led by the city’s new party secretary Mo Gong Ming, has reportedly banned the sale of dog meat during their annual Dog Meat Festival. The festival, which has been held since 2010, results in the death of up to 3,000 dogs each year. The dogs are held in cramped cages, beaten to death, and eaten by festival attendees. But if the reports are correct – this unthinkable event may finally be coming to an end.
Thanks to endless efforts made by activists, Yulin will reportedly prohibit restaurants, street vendors and market traders from selling dog meat at the festival, commencing June 15th – a week before the scheduled start of the festival. The penalty for anyone who breaks this new law? A fine of up to $15,000 and potential jail time.
According to HSI, this news has been confirmed by three traders at Yulin’s largest dog meat market, Dongkou. While the ban is only temporary (in place for the duration of the festival), it is certainly a step in the right direction. Advocates for the end of the dog meat industry are hopeful that this movement will eventually lead to a more permanent change. A reasonable goal, considering 64% of Chinese citizens want to ban the Yulin dog meat festival once and for all.