Officially Classifies As Companion Animals: China Completely Bans Eating Dog Meat

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China completely bans the consumption of dog meat thanks to a new directive that excludes dogs from farm animals.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has signaled that it completely bans eating dog meat, after passing a proposal that officially classifies dogs as companion animals and not farm animals. This policy was approved three weeks before the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

The ministry also called for some more changes to be made to Chinese customs regarding dogs, stressing that they are companion, service and rescue animals.

The move is taken just one month from the Yulin Festival, where thousands of dogs are cruelly killed and eaten as tradition on the summer solstice.

China completely bans eating dog meat

china prohibits eating dog meat

Photo: Animals Asia

The Chinese agriculture ministry in the latest published version of the country’s Directory of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources excluded dogs as livestock.

According to this new news, the Livestock Law of China with these modifications can prevent about 10 million dogs from being killed for their meat annually in the Asian country.

china prohibits eating dog meat

Humane Society International

A spokesman for the Chinese agriculture ministry spoke about the long-standing relationship humans have with dogs.

He told the media:

“With the progress of time, human understanding of civilization and eating habits has constantly changed. Some traditional customs about dogs will also change. “

china prohibits eating dog meat

Humane Society International

One of the explanations for the existence of the Yulin Festival is that it is considered a “cultural tradition.” This event known worldwide for its cruelty, has been very controversial due to everything concerning the practices carried out around the sacrifices of dogs.

The ministry spokesman stressed that this decision not to classify dogs as farm animals was an international consensus and expressed without further detail that there are more policies regarding dogs to be implemented in the future.

china prohibits eating dog meat

Photo: Guangyuan Boai Animal Protect Group

Shenzhen and Zhuhai, two Chinese cities, had already banned eating dog meat due to the pandemic. At the end of February of this year, China issued a temporary ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals, considering this practice responsible for the crisis that affects the world today.

The document issued by the ministry lists 33 types of animals considered “traditional livestock” that includes cows, sheep, goats, horses, camels, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, quail and pigs among others.

china prohibits eating dog meat

Photo: Animals Asia

It also mentions 16 types of ‘special livestock’ such as red deer, reindeer, guinea fowl, pheasant, partridge, wild ducks, ostriches, mink, the American red fox, the arctic fox and raccoon dogs among several more, although the last 4 species can continue to be traded, but not for their meat.

Many animal welfare groups have shown their support for this great initiative by the Chinese government, the charity Humane Society International (HSI) called it a “truly momentous moment.” Wendy Higgins, a spokeswoman for the HSI said that this was a great opportunity for Chinese cities to comply with these government instructions and protect animals from this terrible fate.

china prohibits eating dog meat
HSI

The organization with PETA Asia also came out in support, calling it a “big step in the right direction” by the Chinese government. The group invites Beijing to have the raccoon dogs and foxes that are now part of the ‘special livestock’ list out of that classification.

china prohibits eating dog meat

Photo: Humane Society International

According to the Daily Mail, activists and legal experts have made proposals in the past to end the consumption of meat by dogs and cats, this dates back to 2009. To date, no legislation has been published that officially prohibits the consumption of pets.

Without a doubt, the Yulin Festival has been quite a touchy subject within and outside of China. Wendy Higgins from HSI has called for an end to this annual Chinese celebration, recalling how in a few days slaughterhouses are often crowded with dogs frightened by the cruel end that awaits them as a result of the terrible festival.

Wendy refers to how terrible this bloody spectacle is, adding that continuing to run it could be seen as a public challenge to the words of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.