On 21 June, 2021, volunteers went to Yulin, Guangxi to continue their fight against the unscrupulous industry of dog and cat meat. Under the pandemic of COVID-19, more than half of the dog and cat meat restaurants have been shut down. The abattoirs for dogs and cats were moved out of public sight. Police officers in plain clothes were deployed on streets to stop the media from investigating.
At the same time, some volunteers continued pressuring government agencies by launching legal complaints. On 4 June, the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Authority in Nanling, Guangxi replied to volunteers’ inquiries on ‘Investigations on dog and cat meat’. Apart from reporting the investigation results to the public, the Authority was committed to ‘promote the knowledge on diseases from non-livestocks such as dogs and cats, strengthen people’s awareness on animal protection, advocate civilised eating habits and abandon the bad culture of eating dog and cat meat.’
It is never easy for the Authority in Guangxi to explicitly suggest ‘abandoning the bad culture of eating dog and cat meat’. The World Dog Alliance (WDA) has been advocating for ‘a top-down and peaceful approach’. Instead of conflicts, communications are always more efficient for legal enforcement agencies serving the grassroots. Facing the current legal loopholes, legal enforcement agencies cannot take any actions without authorisations. Perhaps an ‘explicit legislation against dog meat consumption’ is more essential to them than us. This is also why the WDA keeps on promoting the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats.
On 19 June, a video of a man in Shanghai stepping on a cat went viral on the Internet. Reporters went to Changling District Police Station to further investigate. Apparently, the man stepped on the cat because of some conflicts with others. According to the current legislation, the man only received ‘warning education’.
In every ‘Two Sessions’, members of the National People’s Congress would submit proposals on including animal cruelty to the Public Security Penalties Law. It looks like this has gained solid support from the public. Hopefully the government will amend the law at their earliest convenience to crack down on animal cruelty.