Breaking the Ground: U.S. Congress Speaks for Companion Animals in China


Sept. 14, 2016 – Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) chaired a briefing calling on China to end its dog meat trade. Congressman Hastings officially initiated House Resolution 752 in May calling on the Chinese authorities to shut down the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and to ban the dog meat trade. The Resolution, as of the time of the briefing, had secured the co-sponsorship of 114 members of Congress of both parties.

At the briefing, Congressman Hastings repeated the call for China to stop the trade of cruelty. He also announced that an additional resolution on ending the dog meat trade across all of Asia would be initiated. Presenting at the briefing were Peter Li, China Policy Specialist of Humane Society International and East Asian Politics Associate Professor of University of Houston-downtown, Andrea Gung of Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project, Liza Vanderpump and John Sessa of the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, Marc Ching and Valerie Ianniello of Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation.

Chinese dogs awaiting slaughter for meat (photo credit: Animals Asia, used under CC BY-NC 2.0)

Chinese dogs awaiting slaughter for meat (photo credit: Animals Asia, used under CC BY-NC 2.0)

Resolution 752 is not a war of culture against China. The Chinese were the first to stand up against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The Resolution is not an imposition of Western values on China. The bond between companion animals and humans is not Western, but trans-cultural. China has a pet-owning community that is soon to exceed the entire population of the U.S.

Neither is calling for an end to China’s dog meat industry an action to undermine the Chinese economy. The dog meat industry does not contribute in any significant way to China’s economy. It has no impact on the livelihood of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The dog meat industry is not simply an animal cruelty business. It has practices that violate China’s own laws and regulations.

Yes, Resolution 752 is against the criminal interest of the dog thieves and businesses serving and processing poisonous dog meat. However, it serves the national interest of China and the Chinese people.

Resolution 752 will be remembered as a milestone in U.S.-China relations. Never before had China’s animal protection issues ever entered the U.S. Congressional agenda. Thank you Congressman Hastings and all the co-sponsoring members of Congress.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Author

Peter J. Li, PhD, is associate professor of East Asian politics at the University of Houston-Downtown and a China policy specialist at Humane Society International. Click to see author's profile.

Leave A Reply