动物权益倡导者称玉林将短期禁售狗肉

编辑:给力英语新闻 更新:2017年5月20日 作者:纽约时报(By AMY QIN)

2015年,玉林一年一度的狗肉节上待售的狗。当地人有夏至吃狗肉的习惯。该市官员周四表示,他们没有听说狗肉禁令。
2015年,玉林一年一度的狗肉节上待售的狗。当地人有夏至吃狗肉的习惯。该市官员周四表示,他们没有听说狗肉禁令。Dogs on sale in a market in Yulin, China, in 2015, during the city’s annual festival signaling the summer solstice. City officials said on Thursday that they had not heard of a ban.

北京——据动物权益倡导者报告,他们反对中国一年一度的狗肉节的努力取得了胜利,他们说,南部城市玉林的官员同意在今年活动的前一周里禁止销售狗肉。

记者周四联系到的所有城市官员都未能确认该禁令,而英国广播公司联系到的一家狗肉餐厅则说,他们没听说过禁令。

国际人道协会和总部设在美国加利福尼亚州的动物保护组织“多多计划”(Duo Duo Project)周四宣布了禁令的消息,称消息来自中国动物权益倡导者和玉林的狗肉贸易商。据这些人的说法,所有在“玉林夏至荔枝狗肉节”6月21日开始前的一周内销售狗肉的人,将面临高达10万元人民币的罚款,还可能被判监禁。

虽然以前有过减少销售狗肉的尝试,但禁令被认为是政府首次威胁使用具体的处罚措施。

“我对此表示乐观,”国际人道协会的中国政策顾问李坚强(Peter J. Li)在接受电话采访时说。“当然,我们知道,光靠法律不能彻底制止玉林的狗肉销售。但这个禁令表明,政府正在认真对待这个问题,并有决心采取行动。”

动物权益保护者称,禁令是制止在中国消费狗肉努力的“里程碑式的胜利”。

活动人士说,这个临时禁令是以口头的形式传达给当地的餐厅业主和供应商的。过去,官员们大都回避这个问题,坚持认为狗肉节是标志夏至到来的地方传统,并不意味着政府对吃狗肉的认可。周四,在包括食品安全局在内的四个玉林政府部门接听电话的员工都表示,他们没听说有这个禁令。

“我觉得他们不会公开承认禁令,”多多计划的创始人巩增恒(Andrea Gung)说,他指的是政府官员。“但我的消息源问了东口(玉林的主要肉类市场)的每个狗肉贩子,他们的说法都一样:禁止销售狗肉的七天禁令于6月15日生效。”

禁令能在多大程度上执行还有待观察。而且禁令只持续一个星期。虽然涵盖了节日开始前的几天,即大多数狗通常被杀死和消费的时候,但活动人士预计,大多数狗肉贩将在禁令结束后重新销售狗肉。此外,还不清楚这条禁令是否涵盖猫肉,狗肉节期间也有猫肉出售,尽管吃猫肉的人较少。

无论如何,这条禁令仍被认为是中国动物福利进程中的积极一步。

李坚强说:“即使这些狗肉销售商可能会重新恢复经营,禁令仍然发出了明确的信号:从现在开始,你们的生计和生意只会变得更加困难。”

这条禁令是动物福利倡导者和玉林的居民以及狗肉贩之间火药味十足的对峙的最新动向。

动物爱好者越来越高调地呼吁取消这个节日,活动人士表示,这个节日是2010年由狗肉贩子搞起来的,目的是为了增加狗肉销量。有1万多只狗每年在这个庆祝活动中被消费——其中很多据信是偷来的宠物狗。

随着国际监督力度的加大,居民和狗肉贩子的防御心态也在增强。活动人士说,只有约30%的玉林人经常吃狗肉,但很多居民表示,他们觉得自己成为靶子很不公平。他们声称,在夏至吃狗肉和荔枝是当地的一种长期习俗,与吃牛肉或吃猪肉没有区别。

但近年来,瑞奇·格列维(Ricky Gervais)和吉赛尔·邦辰(Gisele Bündchen)等名人领导的一个初期主要在国际上进行的运动在中国获得了更多的支持,相对于中国的其他草根议题而言,动物权利问题获得了比较多的讨论空间。

随着家庭饲养宠物数量的上升,中国的动物权益倡导者也变得越来越活跃,他们经常拦截装满被贩卖犬只的卡车,还在社交媒体上举办宣传活动,提高人们对狗肉消费的认识。吃狗肉主要是中国东北部和两广南部的习俗。

现在,要求取消狗肉节的呼吁广为传播,成为更广泛的结束中国狗肉消费行为的一个焦点,中国的狗肉贸易基本上不受管制,狗肉消费常常非常残酷。

“中国活动人士做了很大贡献。”巩增恒说,“通常,大多数外国活动人士在狗肉节结束后就坐飞机离开了,但是这些当地的活动人士坚持不懈,他们仍然在讨论它,关心这件事。”

China’s Dog Meat Festival May Have to Cancel the Dog, Activists Say

BEIJING — Animal rights advocates are reporting a victory in their fight against an annual dog meat festival in China, saying that officials in the southern city of Yulin had agreed to ban the sale of dog meat in the week before the event.

No city officials reached on Thursday were able to confirm the ban, and dog restaurants contacted by the BBC said they had not heard anything about it.

The Humane Society International and the Duo Duo Project, an animal advocacy group based in California, announced news of the ban on Thursday, citing reports from Chinese animal rights advocates and dog meat traders in Yulin. According to the reports, anyone caught selling dog meat in the week leading up to the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, which starts on June 21, will face fines of up to 100,000 renminbi, or about $14,500, and possibly time in prison.

While there have been previous attempts to curtail sales of dog meat, this is believed to be the first time that the government had threatened concrete penalties.

“I’m optimistic,” Peter J. Li, a China policy adviser to Humane Society International, said in a telephone interview. “Of course we understand that no law can completely deter the sale of dog meat in Yulin. But this ban suggests that the government is becoming more serious about taking action in a determined way.”

Animal rights supporters were calling it a “milestone victory” in the campaign to end the consumption of dogs in China.

Activists said notice of the temporary prohibition was conveyed orally to local restaurant owners and vendors. In the past, officials have mostly skirted the issue, insisting that the festival is a local tradition signaling the summer solstice and not organized or endorsed by the government. Reached by telephone on Thursday, employees at four government departments in Yulin, including the food safety bureau, said that they had not heard of a ban.

“I don’t think they will publicly acknowledge it,” said Andrea Gung, the founder of the Duo Duo Project, referring to the government officials. “But my source spoke with every single one of the dog meat vendors at Dongkou” — Yulin’s main market for the meat — “and they all said the same thing: a seven-day ban on dog meat sales starting on June 15.”

It remains to be seen to what extent a ban will be enforced. The ban lasts only a week. While this covers the days before the festival and its opening, when a majority of the dogs are typically killed and consumed, activists expect that most, if not all, of the dog meat vendors will resume selling once the ban is lifted. In addition, it is unclear whether the prohibition extends to cats, which are also consumed during the festival, though their meat is less popular.

Nevertheless, the embargo is still being celebrated as a positive step for animal welfare in China.

“Even though these dog meat traders will probably return to business as usual, the ban still sends a clear signal: From now on, your livelihood and your business will only become much more difficult,” Mr. Li said.

The ban is the latest development in what has become a highly charged standoff between animal welfare advocates and residents and dog meat vendors in Yulin.

Animal lovers have grown increasingly vocal in their calls to shut down the festival, which activists say was only started in 2010 by dog meat vendors to increase sales. More than 10,000 dogs — many of which are believed to be stolen pets — are said to be consumed at the celebrations every year.

As international scrutiny has intensified, residents and dog meat vendors have become increasingly defensive. Activists say only about 30 percent of people in Yulin eat dog meat regularly, but many residents say they feel they have been unfairly targeted. Eating dog meat and lychees during the summer solstice, they argue, is a longstanding local custom, and no different from eating cows or pigs.

But in recent years, what began as a mostly international movement, led by celebrities like Ricky Gervais and Gisele Bündchen, has gained more support in China, where the issue of animal rights is given more space for debate relative to other grass-roots topics.

As pet ownership rates have risen, local animal rights advocates have become more active, regularly intercepting trucks filled with trafficked dogs and organizing social media campaigns to raise awareness about issues like dog meat consumption, a practice that is found mostly in the northeast and in the southern regions of Guangxi and Guangdong.

Now, calls to end the festival have become so widespread that it has become the focal point of a broader campaign to end dog meat consumption in China and the often-brutal practices associated with its largely unregulated trade.

“A big credit goes to the Chinese activists,” Ms. Gung said. “Usually most of the foreign activists take off after the festival ends, but these local activists, they stick around, and they still talk about it, they care about it.”