In news that could signal the end of China's taboo and brutal cat and dog meat trade, the country announced that dogs can no longer be treated as livestock and are now considered pets or companion animals.
“With the progress of human civilization and the public’s concern and preference for animal protection, dogs have changed from traditional domestic animals to companion animals,” China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said.
“Dogs are generally not regarded as livestock and poultry around the world, and China should also not manage them as livestock and poultry.”
It’s estimated that 10 million dogs a year are killed and eaten on the now-banned meat trade. The ban is not all too surprising as dogs are only eaten by less than 20% of the Chinese population with a 2016 survey showing that a majority of Chinese citizens supported the banning of the dog meat trade.
In addition, this ban follows the ban on eating and trading wild animals. While not confirmed, it’s heavily thought SARS-CoV-2 — the scientific name for COVID-19 — spread to humans from a wild animal at a “wet” market in Wuhan.
Along with the announcement to ban the sale of dog meat, China authorities released alongside the revised National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources. This official document lists which animals can be considered as legal livestock and traded for meat, fur, and medical purposes. The document will be open to public consultation until May 8th.
For news and information related to the coronavirus outbreak, be sure to stay up to date with our blog at Innovetpet.