Every June, the city of Yulin in China’s southwestern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region hosts a spectacle that has drawn international condemnation. An estimated 10,000 dogs are butchered as part of a dog meat festival that started about six years ago.
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., moved to put his colleagues on record against the practice. In a House resolution, he highlighted that "dogs who reach the slaughterhouses are typically beaten to death with shocking brutality, without any regard for their welfare," and that the dog meat trade "poses a risk to human health by exposing people to a multitude of diseases, including rabies and cholera."
Action is needed, the resolution continued, because the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin "threatens global public health."
We are not insensitive to how ugly the scene might well be in Yulin.
But our focus is on whether this festival in itself poses a threat to global public health.