All untimely deaths are tragedies, but the torture and murder of man’s best friend in the international dog meat trade is particularly disturbing to animal lovers.

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According to a petition on Care2, 30 million dogs and a huge number of cats are brutally tortured and killed each year across the globe. The petition states that in South Korea alone, two million dogs are killed for consumption each year, with 70 percent of them being killed during a three-day summer fest called Boknal, where chilled dog soup is consumed.

During the infamous Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China, an estimated 15,000 dogs are tortured (the petition states dogs are dragged behind cars until they collapse and many are skinned alive) because of the asinine belief that tortured dog meat is more delectable. Those benefiting from the dog meat trade often use the argument that it is a practice rooted in tradition and culture, but studies have proven this is false, as a majority of Chinese citizens report never eating dog meat.

In addition to the extreme animal cruelty, the dog meat trade also poses a major threat to public health and safety. The health and well-being of these animals are neglected, meaning they do not receive vaccinations, and awful deadly diseases like rabies are easily spread to animals and humans.  According to the petition, China alone has 2,000 cases of rabies each year.

The petition states that new legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that will enforce a ban on the dog and cat meat trade in all nations around the world. Please take a moment to sign the petition in support of the new regulations. And please help spread awareness about the dog meat trade by sharing this with your friends and family!

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Image Source: Soi Dog Foundation