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Yulin dog-meat festival returns in China despite government campaign

The annual 10-day festival in the city of Yulin attracts thousands of visitors, many of whom buy dogs for the pot that are on display in cramped cages.

REUTERS: China’s notorious dog meat festival has opened in defiance of a government campaign to improve animal welfare and reduce risks to health highlighted by the coronavirus outbreak but activists are hopeful its days are numbered. The annual 10-day festival in the southwestern city of Yulin usually attracts thousands of visitors, many of whom buy dogs for the pot that are on display in cramped cages, but campaigners said the numbers this year have dwindled.

The government is drawing up new laws to prohibit the wildlife trade and protect pets, and campaigners are hoping that this year will be the last time the festival is held… The agriculture ministry also decided to classify dogs as pets rather than livestock, though it remains unclear how the reclassification will affect Yulin’s trade…

“I do hope Yulin will change not only for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its people,” said Peter Li, a China policy specialist with Humane Society International, an animal rights group… Zhang Qianqian, an animal rights activist who was in Yulin on Saturday, said it was only a matter of time before the dog-meat festival was banned. SOURCE…

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