Dog meat during the summer solstice is like moon cakes in the Mid-Autum festival.
Residents of Yulin, a small city in southern Guangxi province, are making the analogy amid efforts to stop the slaughter of as many as 10,000 dogs for the annual “dog meat” festival.
The issue has inspired an online protest by a growing number of netizens including TV star Yang Mi who oppose the wholesale killing of the animal for the event, China National Radio reported Sunday.
Animal rights groups accused participants of using brutal techniques such as electrocution, burning and live skinning.
Local government authorities said no such festival has been given official sanction and vowed to ban the brutal killing of dogs, the report said. Also, it will strengthen food safety regulations.
Veterinarian Liu Lang said people who eat dog meat may be exposed to safety risks because dog farms are loosely regulated. Also, some meat may actually come from feral dogs or pets that might have veterinary drug residue in their system.
Zhou Xiaozheng, a sociologist at Renmin University of China, said the custom of eating dog meat during the festival has become a dietary habit but the rights of people who don’t share the practice should be respected.
But some Yulin residents are unapologetic.
“People eat fish from the sea and the river but no one will eat one from a fish tank”, one resident said, adding the meat they eat are from dogs that have been raised for food and not as pets.
It’s unclear, however, how eating dog meat during the summer solstice can be compared to consuming moon cakes during the Mid-Autumn festival.
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