Lisa Vanderpump's fight to put an end to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival has scored a major victory. The Yulin government is set to prohibit restaurants, street vendors, and market traders from selling dog meat at the annual event, animal activists Duo Duo Project and Humane Society International announced Wednesday.
The temporary ban will go into effect on June 15, one week before the festival, where thousands of dogs are killed for their meat in China's Guangxi province, is scheduled to begin on June 21. It is said that the ban "will be strictly enforced with fines of up to 100,000 yuan," which is about $14,500, and the "risk of arrest for violations."
Lisa has worked tirelessly to put an end to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, organizing a march in protest through Los Angeles to the Chinese Consulate-General, speaking out against the event on Capitol Hill, and creating a documentary about the cause, which we saw her work on during the ladies' trip to Hong Kong this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. "If it's true [that] we've been instrumental [in] stopping this barbarity then we're thrilled," Lisa told DailyMail.com after hearing the news of the temporary ban, adding that the fight is "not over yet," but "it's a huge step in the right direction."
Lisa continued, "I think they have felt the pressure from the West and certainly with the help of Bravo and Evolution Media in showcasing our marches and our gala, all the press they have helped us garner has been instrumental in this fight and in spreading the word all over the world."
Lisa's initial response to the news was incredibly emotional. "I actually cried for 10 minutes, I just sat there," she shared.
The RHOBH restaurateur also shared her joy over the news on Twitter.
Duo Duo Project and Humane Society International are now urging Yulin authorities to make the ban permanent, as well as other measures to end the dog meat trade. Lisa also acknowledged that there is still work to be done. "It's only a temporary ban so we need people to be aware, and for Americans to say, 'China, we see what you're doing and this is not OK,'" Lisa told DailyMail.com. "We know it would be a bipartisan issue, that people would not say, 'Yeah, you should, torture these dogs. You should beat the sh** out of these magnificent creatures .'"
In addition to putting an end to the Yulin dog meat trade forever, Lisa and her husband Ken Todd hope to improve the wellbeing of all dogs around the world with the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, which was launched last year. The couple also opened the Vanderpump Dogs rescue center in L.A. in March. “You’ve seen all year [on the show] that it’s been our mission to create a more humane life for dogs worldwide. We thought one of the final pieces of the jigsaw puzzle would be to have a rescue center, but totally different. People can come here and adopt a dog, but it’s also a place where the dogs wouldn’t want to leave. There is a great enthusiasm and energy," Lisa previously told Unleashed. "Look, all shelters do a wonderful job — it’s very hard — but we wanted to create more of a lifestyle where everyone is bonded by their love of dogs.”
Find out more about Lisa's efforts to give every dog a home, below.