There are over 10 million dogs that are killed for meat each year in China alone, and it looks like the winds of change have finally reached the east.
It’s no surprise that dogs are eaten in many parts of the Chinese mainland. China has suffered from many famines in the past, so the people were forced to eat whatever they could find, and this included dogs and cats.
However, after the famines ended, people should have stopped, but this has never happened in China. In some parts of the country, people consider dogs and cats to even be a delicacy.
This is, or at least it used to be, perfectly legal because dogs are considered livestock by law. This means they are animals that can be used for human benefits, and this includes breeding them for food, milk, fur, fiber, medicine, and meat.
Fortunately, this is finally changing. In a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture that was stated on Wednesday, they said:
As far as dogs are concerned, along with the progress of human civilisation and the public concern and love for animal protection, dogs have been specialised to become companion animals, and internationally are not considered to be livestock, and they will not be regulated as livestock in China
This is a huge change that animal rights group are thrilled about. This statement alone is a complete game-changer in how dogs are treated in China.
Keep in mind that eating dogs is so loved in some parts of the country that they some people refuse to eat in restaurants that don’t serve dog dishes! The city of Yulin, in the region of Guangxi, holds an annual dog meat festival in June where thousands of dogs are slaughtered in front of people to be served in dishes. A Horrible tradition that has been under fire for many years from international organizations.
The international pressure has since then forced the Chinese Government to order against holding the Yulin Dog Festival in 2019, and which must have played a role in this decision as well.
However, dog consumption has become increasingly unpopular in China, and the southern city of Shenzhen became the first to ban it last month.
The coronavirus is widely believed to have originated in horseshoe bats before being passed onto humans by intermediary species on sale at a market in Wuhan, China, where the disease was first identified.
China subsequently banned the breeding, trading and consumption of wildlife, and revoked all existing licenses.
It has also promised to revise legislation to make the ban permanent.
The draft guidelines published on Wednesday, which have been released to the public for consultation, listed 18 traditional livestock species – including cattle, pigs, poultry and camels.
It also added 13 “special” species that would also be exempt from wild animal trading restrictions, including reindeer, alpaca, pheasants, ostriches and foxes.
China has ended coronavirus lockdown measures in Wuhan, 11 weeks after it became the epicenter of what has since developed into a global crisis.
England confirmed a further 765 deaths from the virus on Thursday, bringing the total to 7,248.