If you’ve been paying attention to animal activism in the past few years, you’ve probably heard about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

cute puppy in a cage for sale at a dog market

While people in eastern Asia have eaten dog meat for a long time, the festival was only started in 2010. It pretty much immediately came under fire from animal activists and people around the globe. For obvious reasons, people reacted strongly to the idea of dogs being slaughtered by the thousands for human consumption. Fortunately, all of the attention brought to the festival may have finally put an end to the cruel practice for good.

Many of the dogs (and cats) consumed at the festival are stray animals, but some are pets stolen from loving homes.

caged puppies in a market for sale

Due to all of the negative attention, Yulin government officials decided not to support restaurants selling dog meat. But now, they’ve gone a step further.

Now, the city of Yulin will prohibit restaurants, street vendors, and market traders from selling dog meat at the event. This is a major win for the activists who have been working on this for years!

Β β€œThe Yulin dog meat festival is not over just yet,” said Peter Li, a China policy specialist at Humane Society International, in a statement. β€œBut if this news is true as we hope, it is a really big nail in the coffin for a gruesome event…”

A 2016 poll found that nearly 52 percent of Chinese, including Yulin residents, want the dog meat trade banned completely, with almost 70 percent claiming never to have eaten dog meat, reports the Chinese state news agency Xinhua. National Geographic reports that this opposition is high among young people.

a dog put in a back for sale at a market

β€œIt’s embarrassing to us that the world wrongly believes that the brutally cruel Yulin festival is part of Chinese culture,” said Qin Xiaona, director of the Capital Animal Welfare Association charity, which sponsored the 2016 poll, in a Xinhua interview. β€œIt isn’t.”

This is such a great first step. Here’s hoping activists can find good homes for all the dogs they just saved and that this practice continues on a downward trend. Share this with the dog lovers you know who will be so thrilled!