Hastings Urges House Leadership to Bring H.Res.752, Condemning the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, and Urging China to End the Dog Meat Trade to the Floor For a Vote
Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) sent the following letter to Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, once again urging them to bring H.Res 752, Condemning the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, and urging China to end the dog meat trade to the floor for consideration. (Please see below and attached a copy of the letter):
November 14, 2016
The Honorable Paul Ryan
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Dear Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy:
I write once again regarding H.Res.752, Condemning the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, and urging China to end the dog meat trade, which I introduced with bipartisan support on May 25, 2016. I respectfully ask that you bring my resolution to the floor for a vote without delay.
The Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China dates back to 2009-2010, when it was launched by dog meat traders as a commercial enterprise to boost flagging sales of dog meat. More than 10,000 dogs are reported to be captured, transported and slaughtered every year for this Dog Meat festival, with more than 10 million dogs killed annually in China for the dog meat trade. Animal welfare groups have found that a number of these dogs are stolen pets taken from their homes, still wearing their collars when they reach the slaughterhouse. Many dogs die during transport to the slaughterhouses after days or weeks without food or water, and others suffer illness and injury during transport, such as broken bones. These dogs suffer mentally from watching other dogs being disemboweled and blow-torched in front of them.
Yulin's dog slaughter takes place in residential areas and public marketplaces, imposing scenes of extreme animal cruelty on local residents, including young children who may, as a result, suffer psychological trauma and desensitization. The capture, transport, and butchering of dogs and the consumption of dog meat poses a risk to human health by exposing people to a multitude of diseases, including rabies and cholera. This practice, in my opinion, is completely unacceptable, and can be stopped by the diligent efforts of members of the Chinese government. Although the Yulin city government withdrew as a sponsor of the Dog Meat Festival, it has taken no meaningful action to enforce China’s existing laws and regulations on animal disease control, food safety, trans-provincial dog transport, or youth protection, all of which are breached by the dog meat trade.
Tens of millions of people around the world have called upon the Government of China, the Governor of the Guangxi Autonomous Region, and the Mayor of Yulin to officially end the Dog Meat Festival and stop the mass slaughter of dogs all year round in Yulin. In addition, the majority of people in China do not consume dog meat and dog meat is not a part of mainstream Chinese culinary practice. Millions of Chinese citizens recently voted in support of a legislative proposal by Zhen Xiaohe, a deputy to the National People’s Congress of China, to ban the dog meat trade. Alongside these voices, I have already written a letter to the Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee urging him to draft legislation to prohibit this festival from taking place ever again. I respect the traditions of the Chinese people, but these events and activities tarnish China’s reputation across the world.
On September 14th, I held a briefing on the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and the global dog meat trade. Scores of people from around the country attended the briefing and it was viewed by over 40,000 people worldwide. To date, 142 of my colleagues in the House of Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, have co-sponsored the resolution.
Again, I respectfully ask that you allow H.Res.752 to be brought to the floor for consideration before the end of the 114th Congress. I thank you for your time and consideration of my request, and stand ready to do all that I can to assist with bringing this critically important resolution to the floor.
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
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.