Boris Johnson’s fiancee, who gave birth to their first child in April, took to Twitter to urge her followers to sign the petition against the festival. The annual event, which sees thousands of dogs cruelly killed for their meat, takes place later this month.
The petition comes after two Chinese cities – Shenzhen and Zhuhai – banned the eating of dogs and cats in April.
And China officially declared on Friday that dogs are companions and not livestock in a step towards finally ending the brutal trade.
Sharing the petition on Twitter, Ms Symonds said: “Ahead of Yulin Dog Meat Festival later this month, please ask Yulin to be China’s next city to end dog and cat meat trade horrors by signing here.”
The petition by animal charity Humane Society International (HSI) calls for Yulin to ban the dog and cat meat trade.
It says: “The world has applauded the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai for being the first in mainland China to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat and welcomed the Chinese government’s confirmation that dogs are companions not livestock.
“However, millions of stolen pets and street animals in China continue to suffer terrible abuse for this trade and are killed in horrific ways.
“The brutality of the dog and cat meat trades tarnishes China’s global image and reputation, and opinion polls show that most people in Yulin and across China don’t eat dogs and cats.
HSI’s China Policy Specialist Dr Peter Li said: “Now that the Chinese government has officially recognised dogs as companions and not livestock, we are hopeful that China will take stronger steps to hasten the end of the dog and cat meat trade for which millions of animals continue to suffer every year.
“The announcement presents cities across China with the perfect opportunity to act upon the government’s words by protecting dogs and cats from the meat trade thieves and slaughterhouses.
“In just a few weeks’ time, the dog slaughterhouses of Yulin city will fill up with terrified dogs awaiting brutal slaughter for its infamous festival.
“A great many of those dogs will have been stolen from homes and streets before being transported to Yulin.
“They will be precisely the much loved companions and helper dogs referred to in the national government’s statement as being not for food.
“The Yulin festival is a bloody spectacle that does not reflect the mood or eating habits of the majority of the Chinese people, and its continuation flouts the sentiment expressed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
“As the Ministry observed, attitudes and appetites about dogs have changed and so now it is time for Yulin’s dog slaughterhouses to lay down the butcher’s knife, and consign the festival to the history books.”
In April, Ms Symonds, 32, backed a petition calling for an end to the wildlife trade in response to the coronavirus outbreak.