Good news, Green Monsters and dog lovers the world over, we are making some serious progress! This past winter, Moran Market, which was one of the most infamous dog meat markets in South Korea responsible for the sale of around 80,000 dogs a year, started the process to officially shut its doors. Then in April, we got word that Taiwan will become the first Asian country to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat. Now, the government in Yulin, which hosts the most well-known dog meat festival in the world, has said it will prohibit restaurants, street vendors, and market traders from selling dog meat at this year’s event. Change is happening fast (finally!) and we must keep that momentum going because millions of dogs and cats in China, and elsewhere in Asia, still await the ghastly fate of being tortured and killed for their meat.

No dog in China is considered safe from this savagery. While some may be specifically raised on farms that support the dog meat trade, an investigation by rescue group Animals Asia found that most are actually stolen pets that were either kidnapped off the street or yanked from their caretakers’ yards.

These victims are then shoved into filthy truck cages crammed with other captive dogs, where they endure long, torturous journeys, between provinces and across international borders, completely unregulated and without any food or water, to dog meat traders and slaughterhouse facilities.

Such crowding and filth enables disease to quickly spread among the dogs, with many contracting canine distemper, parvovirus and, almost certainly, rabies. This also poses a significant human health risk through the potential transmission of animal-borne diseases, such as rabies and cholera – and, of course, even more dangers to those who later choose to consume the meat.

Like in any slaughterhouse, the process of producing this meat for consumption is neither pretty nor humane. As Animals Asia explains, these dogs are commonly “snared around the neck with metal hooks and dragged from their cages. Then they are either bludgeoned or stabbed in the neck or groin to be ‘bled out.’ Other methods of killing including being hanged or electrocuted. This happens dog by dog so other dogs are likely to witness multiple deaths ahead of their own.”

Fortunately, not everyone in China supports this awful trade. Citizens are rallying in protest, and students are creating posters to spread awareness and educate their fellow countrymen on the many injustices involved. But it’s a lot to take on, particularly considering that many people there mistakenly believe the trade falls under tradition. That’s why it’s critical that we do everything we can to help.

U.S. Representative Alcee L. Hastings has already taken an important step by introducing a resolution (H. Res 30) that:

  • Condemns the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, because it: (1) is a spectacle of extreme animal cruelty, (2) is a commercial activity not grounded in Chinese history, (3) is opposed by a majority of the Chinese people, and (4) threatens global public health.
  • Urges the government of China and the Yulin authorities to ban the killing and eating of dogs as part of Yulin’s festival and to enforce China’s food safety laws regulating the processing and sale of animal products and the 2011 Agriculture Ministry of China Regulation on the Quarantine of Dogs at the Place of Origin requiring one certificate for one dog on trans-provincial transport trucks.
  • Urges the National People’s Congress of China to enact an animal anticruelty law that bans the dog meat trade.
  • Affirms the commitment of the United States to the protection of animals and to the progress of animal protection.

Sign this petition on Care2 to urge your Congressional Representatives to cosponsor this resolution and call on the Chinese government to end the dog meat trade.

In addition, lend your support to nonprofit organizations like Animals Asia and Humane Society International and good Samaritans like Yang Xiaoyun so that they can continue to rescue as many dogs as possible from the Asian dog meat trade and keep advocating for change.

Image source: Happy monkey/Shutterstock