A petition to stop a dog-meat festival in China has gathered over 11million signatures as animal rights campaigners call for an end to the slaughter of thousands of dogs for the event.
The petition against the Yulin dog-meat festival, set to take place on 21 June, was delivered to the Chinese Embassy in London and to the Yulin government office in Beijing earlier this month.
The Human Society International raised concerns about the animals’ welfare, and said the region has no history of mass dog slaughter and consumption, and the festival, run since 2010, is not traditional.
Peter Li, China Policy Expert at Humane Society International, said: “As a Chinese American who grew up in mainland China, I know how strong is the opposition in both nations and globally towards the Yulin dog meat festival.
“China’s dog meat trade is animal abuse and criminality on a massive scale, and a stain on China’s international reputation”.
Campaigners are calling for an end to the slaughter of dogs not just for humanitarian and health reasons, but also for the impact it has on China’s international reputation.
Yufeng Xu, founder of Beijing Mothers Against Animal Cruelty, described the festival as a ‘total embarrassment to China’.
The World Health Organisation has also warned that the dog trade spreads rabies and increases the risk of cholera.