Many countries in Asia are slaughtering and torturing dogs for meat.
WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – Screams of disgust and anger accompanied by tears echoed throughout the Congressional Auditorium Wednesday morning as hundreds viewed a graphic video depicting the heinous torture and murder of countless dogs slaughtered throughout parts of Asia for the canine meat trade.
“I always said if you don’t see it no one will believe you,” said Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation founder Marc Ching while struggling to fight back tears. “You’ve got to see it, because once you do, if you can walk away from that you’re not human.”
Ching is an animal rescuer who has travelled throughout China and other parts of Asia documenting atrocities committed against countless dogs as part of the canine meat trade. He had warned the audience as well as his fellow animal rescuers on the panel that the video would likely provoke significant emotional outrage.
The panel was led by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) who introduced a bi-partisan congressional resolution in late-May that condemns the annual dog meat festival in Yulin, China and also calls on the Chinese government to outlaw the dog meat trade.
Hastings said the international dog meat trade is morally reprehensible.
“Quite plainly its an abomination,” Hastings said. “We all know about what it entails; the twisted belief that physical torture yields better tasting meat. Ten thousand dogs are rounded up every year and burned, oiled; skinned alive. Many of them are family pets stolen from homes and the abuse is sickening.”
Ching acknowledged that passing Hasting’s resolution would not necessarily convince the Chinese government to change course but said it would go a long way towards protecting a large number of dogs.
“Will dogs continue to die and still be tortured,” Ching asked. “Probably always. The whole picture is about protecting the large group of them.”
Ching told TMN that many of the governments in countries where the dog meat trade is prevalent are limited in their enforcement powers.
“The biggest challenge in these countries is that there is no governing body to regulate the dog meat industry,” Ching said.
Panelist Andrea Gung, who is an animal rescuer as well as the executive director and founder of Duo Duo Compassion Beyond Borders, said that many young people throughout Asia have actively taken part in rescuing dogs and also pointed out that most Chinese citizens are opposed to the dog meat trade.
“We are on the winning side of this battle, today 70 percent of Chinese people never eat dog,” Gung said.
Panelist Valarie Ianniello, who is the director of operations at the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, brought along her rescued dog Liberty. Liberty had had her paws removed by meat traders and is awaiting prosthetics.
“While we don’t want to sit here and tell people what should be they eating, we want them to at least set in place some standards of how they are going to kill these animals,” Ianniello said.
London Andrews, 32, a plus-size Instagram model from Rochester NY, told TMN that she plans to use her newly found fame to speak out on behalf of animal rights.
“As you get out there more in the world and more people are noticing you, I think the best thing you can do with your voice is to speak out about the things you care about,” Andrews said. “In this case, it’s not just dogs but it’s compassion towards animals, towards people.”
TMN Intern Danielle Prokop contributed to this article