Stop The Wildlife Trade: China calls dogs ‘companions’ and removes as livestock ahead of Yulin dog meat festival

China’s authorities has referred to as dogs “companions” and reportedly signalled a wider ban on dog meat consumption was ahead, simply weeks earlier than the Yulin dog meat festival.

The announcement at the moment from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs got here as a last Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry was revealed and omitted dogs from the lengthy checklist of animals allowed to be commercially bred, raised and traded.

A authorities spokesperson mentioned that almost all of individuals who took half in a public session course of opposed together with dogs as livestock, including that dogs have lengthy been domesticated as “companions” and “pets” who guard the household residence; act as search and rescue animals for police and help these with visible impairment.


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The spokesperson mentioned that with the altering occasions, “some traditional customs about dogs will change too”. He added that extra insurance policies concerning dogs would observe however didn’t elaborate, the Daily Mail reported.

The announcement is consistent with draft pointers drawn up by China in April to reclassify dogs as pets moderately than livestock.

The choice comes ahead of the Yulin dog meat festival subsequent month, the place 1000’s of dogs are butchered, skinned and cooked with blow-torches. It is scheduled to run for 9 days from 21 June within the metropolis, situated within the Guangxi province.

Humane Society International (HSI) estimates that 10m dogs are slaughtered in China yearly and mentioned that many are stolen from houses and taken off the streets ahead of the Yulin festival.

The World Health Organisation has warned that the dog commerce spreads rabies and will increase the danger of cholera.

A 2017 survey revealed that in Yulin, almost three-quarters of individuals don’t frequently eat dog meat regardless of efforts by merchants to advertise. A 2016 nationwide survey discovered that 64 per cent of Chinese residents needed the Yulin festival shut down and 69.5 per cent have by no means eaten dog meat.

Dr Peter Li, HSI’s China coverage specialist, mentioned that the Yulin festival was a “bloody spectacle [which] does not reflect the mood or eating habits of the majority of the Chinese people”.

He mentioned: “Now that the Chinese authorities has formally recognised dogs as companions and not livestock, we’re hopeful that China will take stronger steps to hasten the tip of the dog and cat meat commerce for which thousands and thousands of animals proceed to endure yearly.

“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.”

China’s ministry of agriculture famous that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s livestock checklist doesn’t embrace dogs and mentioned that internationally, dogs aren’t handled as livestock.

In April, the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai, have been the primary in China to formally ban the consumption of cat and dog meat.

The finalised livestock checklist did formally declare a quantity of wild animals as “livestock” together with a number of deer species, alpaca, guinea-fowl and the three mostly farmed wild species for China’s fur commerce – racoon dog, silver fox and mink.

The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China late final yr. Covid-19 is believed to have originated in horseshoe bats and handed to people by way of an middleman species.

In response to the outbreak, China issued a short lived ban on all commerce and consumption of wild animals and is contemplating revising laws to make the ban everlasting.

Last week authorities in Wuhan formally banned the consuming of all wild animals and mentioned the town would turn into a “wildlife sanctuary”. Currently, the ban lasts for 5 years.

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