Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) sent the following letter to China’s President Xi Jinping, condemning the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and calling on the Chinese Government to end the dog meat trade that claims the lives of 10 million dogs every year. Joining Hastings as co-signers of the letter were Reps. Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Chaka Fattah (PA-02), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Jim McDermott (WA-07), Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Dina Titus (NE-01), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24). (Please below and find attached a copy of the letter).
June 16, 2016
His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
No. 174 Xi Chang’an Jie,
Dear President Xi:
We write to express our deepest concern for the innocent dogs that are horribly mistreated during the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. Bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have come together to condemn the Dog Meat Festival, and respectfully urge your government to end the dog meat trade.
An estimated ten thousand dogs are reported to be captured, transported and slaughtered every year for this festival, launched in 2009 as a commercial enterprise to boost lagging dog meat sales. Furthermore, approximately 10 million dogs are killed annually in China for the dog meat trade. Animal rights groups have found that a number of these dogs are stolen pets taken from their homes.
Once in transport, these dogs are treated so inhumanely that many of them die on the way to the slaughterhouse after days of being denied food and water. Indeed, even those dogs that manage to survive often trans-provincial dog transport face an almost certain brutal death when they arrive. The World Health Organization has also linked the preparation of dog meat for consumption to the human health risk of exposure to a multitude of diseases, including rabies and cholera.
Millions in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. have signed petitions calling upon the Chinese government to end the festival, which is slated in two weeks on June 21, 2016. Alongside these voices, the millions of Chinese citizens who also stand opposed to this festival, and the Yulin city government which has stated that it will not continue to sponsor the event, we urge you to do all that you can to stop this year’s festival from occurring and draft legislation that will prohibit this festival from taking place in the future.
We applaud the efforts of the Yulin city government officials and the millions of Chinese citizens opposed to the festival and the dog meat trade more generally. We encourage you to use this strong support to end the festival and dog meat trade as a way to push for the implementation of strong animal cruelty laws that will ensure that these dogs, our companions, are free from further maltreatment.
It is our hope that you will use your considerable influence to guarantee that the will of millions of Chinese citizens is reflected in the application of strong laws that will ensure the Dog Meat Festival and dog meat trade end as swiftly as possible.
Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress
Cc: The Honorable Cui Tiankai, Ambassador to the United States for the People’s Republic of China
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.