Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) introduced a resolution condemning the annual dog meat festival that takes place in Yulin, China. The festival, scheduled to occur this year on June 21st, involves the capture and cruel killing of thousands of dogs. Hastings’ resolution calls on the Chinese government and Yulin authorities to end the dog meat trade and better enforce food safety and animal transportation laws that should preclude this activity.

More than 10 million dogs are killed for human consumption every year in China. The trade involves animal cruelty, criminal activity including theft of pets, and serious risk to human health, with the World Health Organization linking the trade to cholera and rabies.

The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, and Humane Society International applaud Congressman Hastings for bringing attention to the cruel festival. HSI, one of the world’s leading animal protection groups campaigning for an end to China’s dog meat trade, has been on the ground in Yulin and other Chinese regions for the past few years, working with Chinese partner groups to rescue dogs from trucks bound for the dog meat markets, uncover the immense cruelty that takes place at the slaughterhouses, and draw attention to the plight of the animals. To highlight the resolution, Congressman Hastings met Little Ricky, a dog who was rescued from Yulin by HSI and was named in honor of actor and comedian Ricky Gervais for his support of HSI’s #EndYulin campaign. Little Ricky now lives happily in Washington, D.C.

Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement for HSI, said: “China’s dog meat trade, and in particular the Yulin dog meat festival during which thousands of dogs are abused and slaughtered for their meat during the summer solstice, are immensely cruel and deserving of global attention. So we applaud Congressman Hastings for shining a congressional spotlight on this atrocity. When HSI found Little Ricky in a Yulin slaughterhouse, he was terrified and moments away from death. He found sanctuary in the United States, and so it is fitting this canine ambassador was present to welcome Congressman Hastings’ resolution. We hope this resolution is heard far and wide, and compels the Yulin authorities and Chinese government to put an end to the cruelty.”

"Animal welfare has remained an issue of great importance to me throughout my time in Congress,” said Congressman Hastings. “The inhumane slaughter of thousands of dogs in China during the summer solstice, and millions more every year, deserves international attention. I hope my resolution will do just that, and make clear that inhumane treatment and indiscriminate slaughter is unequivocally wrong. I will continue to work to ensure that all animals are treated humanitarianly and thank Humane Society International for its work on this important issue.”

The resolution, which has 27 original cosponsors, does the following:

  • Condemns the dog meat festival in Yulin;
  • Urges the Government of China and the Yulin authorities to enforce the 2011 Agriculture Ministry of China Regulation that requires "one certificate for one dog" on board trucks transporting dogs that cross provincial boundaries;
  • Encourages the Government of China and the Yulin authorities to enforce China’s food safety laws regulating the processing and sale of animal products, which should preclude dog meat trade activity;
  • Urges the Government of China and the Yulin authorities to impose a ban on the killing and eating of dogs as part of Yulin’s festival;
  • Urges the National People's Congress of China to enact an anti-animal cruelty law with provisions banning the dog meat trade; and
  • Affirms the commitment of the United States to the protection of animals and to the progress of animal protection around the world.

The congressional resolution will help to raise awareness of U.S. opposition to the cruelty taking place in Yulin and throughout China.

HSI will be at the Yulin festival on June 21 to shine a global spotlight on the suffering. People can join HSI’s global #StopYulin campaign by signing our petition at The petition will be submitted to Chinese officials in early June.

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