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Over 8 Million Chinese Citizens Call for a Ban on the Dog and Cat Meat Trade

Chinese citizens have voted online in support of a legislative proposal to stop the dog and cat meat trade. Organizers hope to make the ban a reality in 2017.

Lisa Plummer Savas  |  Mar 18th 2016


Can you imagine eating a dog or a cat? In many parts of Asia, where millions of companion animals are consumed each year, this grisly concept is far from shocking. But in China, where pet ownership has grown exponentially, especially among the younger generations, this practice has increasingly become the subject of public ire and outrage.

According to Humane Society International, nearly 8 million Chinese citizens have voted online in support of a legislative proposal to stop the dog and cat meat trade, making this the highest number of votes obtained for any proposal open to the public available on the Chinese government’s official website.

According to HSI, this is a “defining moment in the fight against the barbaric slaughter of dogs and cats.”

VShine activists protesting the annual Yulin dog meat festival. (Photo courtesy Humane Society International)

VShine activists protesting the annual Yulin dog meat festival. (Photo courtesy Humane Society International)

The proposal comes just a few months before China’s Yulin dog meat festival, scheduled to take place on and around June 21. This horrific event, which receives global media coverage every year, is condemned both domestically and internationally for the inhumane slaughter of an estimated 10,000 dogs and countless cats. Many of these animals are believed to be stolen pets.

“It is very encouraging that a ban on China’s dog and cat meat trade has been proposed and that it has received such significant public support from inside China itself,” says Peter Li, HSI’s China policy specialist. “The National People’s Congress can no longer ignore the wishes of so many millions of its citizens to end the cruel and largely illegal dog meat trade – and in particular shut down the dog meat festival in Yulin. While it’s off the table for this year, HSI, with the strength of its Chinese activist partners, will make sure the proposal is on the agenda in 2017. In the meantime, we continue our fight against such massive cruelty.”

Each year the dog meat trade claims the lives of approximately 10 million dogs in China, and around 30 million across Asia, including in South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Show your support for this important proposal by signing HSI’s global petition, which is scheduled to be presented to Chinese authorities in early June.

About the author: A devoted dog mom, journalist, and animal activist, Lisa uses her writing to spread awareness about animal welfare and cruelty issues. She lives in Atlanta with two spoiled German Shepherds, one entitled Pug, and a very understanding husband. Read more of her work at her blog and website, and follow her on Twitter.