Hastings Raises Concerns Over Treatment of Animal Welfare Activists by Police in China
Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) sent the following letter to Cui Tiankai, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States, expressing concern over reports of Chinese police officers aiding in the trafficking of dogs and standing by as traffickers attacked animal rights activists. (Please find below and attached a copy of the letter.)
October 31, 2016
The Honorable Cui Tiankai
I write to you today to draw your attention to a shameful event that occurred in the Chengde Pingquan County of China on October 26th – police standing by and doing nothing as innocent animal rights activists were attacked by illegal dog traders. According to reports, police officers were actively aiding the traffickers in the assault. These brave activists were only working to ensure that the dogs had come from legal sources and had health certificates in accordance with Chinese law. Luckily, Buddhist Monks from the local area were able to step in and succeeded in recovering the animals. In May, I wrote you a letter drawing your attention to H.Res.752, which I introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 25, 2016. My bipartisan resolution condemns the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and respectively calls on your government to end the festival and, more generally, the dog meat trade.
As you know, this year’s Dog Meat Festival took place in June. In order to save thousands of innocent dogs from being grossly mistreated and slaughtered, I once again implore you to do all that you can to see to it that all future Dog Meat Festivals are banned. It is notable that the Yulin city government has itself withdrawn as a sponsor of the festival. Disappointingly, however, city government officials have not yet taken meaningful action to enforce China’s already well established laws regulating animal disease control, food safety, trans-provincial dog transport, or youth protection, all of which are violated by the dog meat trade and by many of those taking part in the Dog Meat Festival. I believe that with your leadership, and the leadership of President Xi, city officials in Yulin can be convinced that their best course of action is to fulfill their respective duties to see to it that Chinese law is followed thereby saving thousands of dogs from a certain and tortuous death.
The grotesque festival, and the dog meat trade more generally, serve as a call to action for not only the millions of Chinese citizens who care for and love animals, but for all such people around the world. I fully understand that the majority of people in China do not consume dog meat and that your government has sound and well established laws under which those who engage in and perpetuate the dog meat trade could be prosecuted. I respectfully ask that you join me in standing with the millions of Chinese citizens who are on record denouncing the dog meat trade, and ensure that this terrible trade and festival ends swiftly through the just adjudication of Chinese law.