A PETITION demanding that Newport City Council cut ties with the Chinese province of Guangxi until it puts an end to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is due to be handed in by its author.

Matthew James, a 24-year-old marketing graduate from Caerleon, Newport, set up the petition a year ago after finding out Newport City council had a twinning arrangement with Guangxi province, home of the Yulin Dog Festival, an annual 10 day event where more than 10,000 dogs are eaten.

The South Wales Argus previously reported that Mr James would hand the petition in once more than 20,000 people had signed it.

At the time of writing, 26,922 people have added their names.

Mr James today confirmed that he was working on a draft letter that he hopes will be presented to the council next week.

Newport City Council have previously responded by saying they would consider the petition when it was presented to them.

Though twinned with the Chinese province, actual contact between Newport City Council and Guangxi is sparse.

Representatives from Newport City Council last visited China in 1999, and a Chinese delegation visited Newport in 2004 for the National Eisteddfod held in the grounds of Tredegar House.

READ MORE: Anti-dog meat petition set to be handed to Newport council after 8,000 more people sign it in six days

Unlike the festival, which started in 2009, the custom of eating dog meat in China can be traced back at least 400 years, and the act itself is not illegal in the country.

Reports suggest around 10 to 20 million are killed to be eaten by humans every year. But changing attitudes around pet ownership in China’s growing middle class have seen in-country demands for the festival to end, with Chinese activists and celebrities taking to social media to oppose it.

Mr James’ petition on change.org reads: “Newport have been twinned with Guangxi Province since 1996. Twinning is the social agreement between our City and their Province it is intended to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, and to encourage trade and tourism.

READ MORE: Petition to end Newport's relationship with home of Yulin Dog Festival will be presented 'when it hits 20,000 signatures'

“However, Guangxi is host to the annual, barbaric Yulin Dog Meat Festival where thousands of dogs are slaughtered and eaten over the 10 days.

“There is no question that this cruel 'festival' has no place in the 21st century.

“Our great city of Newport should completely cut any ties relating to this event and do everything we can to end the abduction of stray and pet dogs to be tortured, butchered, beaten, skinned alive to be eaten.”

You can view and sign the petition here.