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China's Dog Meat Festival Has Been Canceled

Could the barbarity be at an end? It just might according to jubilant animal rights activists, who say this year’s Yulin dog meat festival — where 2,000 to 3,000 canines are rounded up, forced into cramped cages, bludgeoned to death and eaten — has been canceled by authorities in the southern Chinese city.

Citing local sources, campaign groups say the sale of dog meat has been banned from a week prior to the June 21 annual festival, with offenders facing arrest and fines of $15,000.

The move was apparently ordered by Yulin’s new Chinese Communist Party Secretary Mo Gong Ming in a bid to reform the city’s image after a sustained international outcry.

A petition calling for the festival to be abolished gained 11 million signatures last year.

“Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade,” says Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Project, an anti-dog and cat meat campaign group.

“This ban is consistent with my experience that Yulin and the rest of the country are changing for the better.” However, it is unclear how any ban can be enforced, especially when the annual festival brings a healthy injection of cash to the city of 7 million.

As the event has never been officially sanctioned, some advocates doubt the government's ability to prevent individuals from partaking.

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