Just weeks ahead of the notorious Yulin festival's June 21 start date, Humane Society International (HSI) has released a press release stating that the "Yulin government is set to ban restaurants, street vendors, and market traders from selling dog meat at its summer festival."
According to the press release, the ban "seems to have been initiated by Mr. Mo Gong Ming, Yulin's new party secretary, and it is set to come into force a week prior to the start of the festival," on June 15. Those who defy the ban can face jail time or fines up to 100,000 yuan, approximately $14,500.
In a phone interview with National Geographic, HSI spokesperson Wendy Higgins stated that her organization "received news of the ban from Chinese activists and traders at Yulin's dog meat markets." In a statement, Peter Li, a China policy specialist for the organization, added:
"The Yulin dog meat festival is not over just yet. But if this news is true as we hope, it is a really big nail in the coffin for a gruesome event that has come to symbolize China's crime-fueled dog meat trade."
There is no word as of yet if the ban will apply to cats as well, since they are also slaughtered during the festival, and according to National Geographic, "the groups haven't yet seen any written documentation from Yulin's government confirming the ban."
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