Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement marking the beginning of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival:
“For weeks, I have worked with organizations and dedicated individuals to raise awareness of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which will begin in just a few hours. During the festival, an estimated 10,000 dogs will be skinned alive, burned alive, drowned, or simply beaten to death because of a twisted belief that torture makes the meat taste better. This festival is an abomination.
“In Congress, I introduced H. Res. 752, a resolution condemning the Yulin Festival and calling on the Government of China to enact tougher anti-animal cruelty laws. Fifty-four of my colleagues in the House of Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, have co-sponsored the bill, and I remain optimistic that it will receive a vote on the House floor.
“I have also written to Secretary of State John Jerry, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Ambassador of China to the United States Cui Tiankai, and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhang Dejiang, urging them to take action to end the Yulin festival.
“It is unfortunate that these efforts did not lead to the cancellation of this year’s Dog Meat Festival, despite the outpouring of support for doing so. I am truly appreciative of the encouragement this campaign has received, as well as the hard work by people across the world to combat this festival.
“Millions of people have called on China to do something. This fight is not over!"
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.