Well! Well! China doesn’t seem to have any seriousness towards it’s gift to the world – Covid 19 global pandemic.
Even though the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reportedly recognised dogs as ‘companion animals’ and ‘not suitable’ to be managed as livestock back in April, it seems like the controversial Yulin Dog Meat festival, where thousands of dogs are beaten and killed, will be taking place this year as well.
According to Reuters, the dog meat festival opened in ‘defiance of a government campaign to improve animal welfare and reduce risks to health highlighted by the novel coronavirus outbreak’. Activists, however, believe that the festival’s days might be numbered.
The government in China has been drawing up new laws to prohibit the wildlife trade and protect pets after facing criticism for its wet markets, one of which is believed to be the ground zero of coronavirus.
I do hope Yulin will change not only for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its people. Allowing mass gatherings to trade in and consume dog meat in crowded markets and restaurants in the name of a festival poses a significant public health risk” Reuters quoted Peter Li, China policy specialist with the Humane Society International, an animal rights group as saying.
In April, Shenzhen became the first city in China to ban the consumption of dogs, cats, snakes among other animals. The agriculture ministry also classified dogs as pets rather than livestock, though it is unclear how the reclassification will affect Yulin’s trade.
Zhang Qianqian, an animal rights activist was reportedly in Yulin on Saturday. “From what we understand from our conversations with meat sellers, leaders have said the consumption of dog meat won’t be allowed in future. But banning dog-meat consumption is going to be hard and will take some time,” she reportedly said.
This year, the festival seems to be taking place, and that too amid a pandemic. We have no words to describe this.