Dog meat event reduced in size
The annual dog meat festival in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region arrived as usual this week, but at a reduced size, as the local government pledged to take action to avoid public dog slaughtering.
In response to a petition to end the festival, the local Yulin government promised to ban dog slaughtering in public and to check the health certificates of dogs transported to Yulin. Food safety and the problem of stolen pet dogs are the major objections.
The festival is held annually in Yulin. Under pressure both domestically and abroad, the Yulin event has shrunk in recent years. According to Humane Society International, the dog slaughtering peak was in 2012 or 2013, when more than 10,000 dogs were killed in three days. The number dropped to 2,000 dogs in 2015.
Li Tingsheng, a local publicity official, said dog meat is a valid food choice, not a bad habit as some activists say.
“We have made an effort to address public concerns over food security as well as the safety of pets,” Li said. “However, there is no legal basis for preventing people from eating dog meat.”