Activists plan on picketing the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to stop an annual dog meat festival in China.
Over 1.1 million people have signed a petition protesters plan on delivering to Chinese officials urging them to take steps toward banning the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Activists will gather in front of the Chinese Embassy Monday for the event, as well as at embassies in San Francisco and Toronto. Between 2014 and 2015 the festival resulted in the deaths of roughly 10,000 dogs, according to the organizers from activist group Care2.
The annual Dog Meat Festival starts June 21 in Yulin.
“It’s become clear that this festival is an event where the slaughter and torture of dogs is permitted to go on unchecked,” Miranda Becker, Care2’s Member Activism Coordinator, said in a statement. “Through this event, Care2 members are showing embassy officials that we will not be silent or unseen. We are urging them not to remain apathetic that this horrific event takes place year after year.”
The festival is expected to continue this year despite a growing number of voices speaking out against the event within China. China does not have any dog breeding farms like South Korea, where they are also consumed. The majority of the supply for dog meat in China comes from strays or stolen pets. Abductions rise around the time of the festival by thieves and gangs looking to make a profit off the event, reports NPR.
Activist in the country try to buy the dogs before the festival each year to rescue them, however many of the sellers refuse to do business with the activists. The protesters say China has made progress, beginning to regulate the dog meat trade in 2013. Sales dropped by a third over the next year, but activists say more needs to be done to protect dogs from slaughter in the country.
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