Extra Pupperoni Please
It's a lean meat
(Radio Free Asia) - Dog meat is "still available" in the southern Chinese city of Yulin, whose annual dog-meat festival has been the target of international campaigns by animal rights activists, despite a proclaimed ban in the run-up to the festival, local residents told RFA.
While local officials have been walking up and down markets ahead of the June 21 festival warning vendors not to display the meat openly, it is still possible to buy dog meat in the Guangxi province-based city, local residents said.
"The authorities can't stop people from displaying a phone number so that anyone who wants to buy dog meat can just go and pick it up at a different stall, or at someone's home," Yulin resident Chen Chaoyuan said.
"I don't think that they can really control this, because even though there are blank spots on the stalls [where dog meat would have been], there are phone numbers, so that everyone knows where to go to get it."
The official website of the Yulin municipal government carried no public announcement of the purported ban when visited by RFA on Thursday.
And the Yulin municipal branch of the ruling Chinese Communist Party told the Beijing Express newspaper on Thursday that the government couldn't ban something it hadn't started.
"This is a local, traditional custom, which was never led by the government, and therefore there was no ban," the branch propaganda team said. "As for the so-called ban on trading in dog-meat, we have never heard of such a policy, neither did we publicize it."
Meanwhile, French retailer giant Carrefour announced on Thursday it has removed dog meat products from two of its supermarket chains in China, following an outcry from the animal rights campaign group, Animal Asia.
The group says it has been asking the company to do this since 2012. Carrefour's offerings to Chinese customers included "Fankuai turtle-juiced dog meat," selling for 136 yuan (U.S. $20), and packs of dried dog meat selling for 25.60 yuan (U.S. $3.76) apiece.
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