A new rule outlaws the eating and sale of puppies and kittens, which is something to be proud of. Unfortunately, some people believe eating dog meat to be cultural, which is a tragic subject that hurts all campaigners throughout the world.
Fortunately, this has just changed as Shenzhen, in southwest China, became the first city in the whole Asian country to take steps to protect these species.
This historic triumph was revealed following a statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, who for the first time said that pups are pets, not livestock.
On April 8, the new law governing the National Catalog of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources was made public for the first time. It includes a list of animals that are deemed “livestock,” but excludes dogs and cats.
“Dogs have evolved from conventional household animals to companion animals as human civilization progressed and the public’s concern and demand for animal protection grew. Dogs are not considered livestock or poultry in most parts of the globe, and China should not treat them as such.
This new rule provides hope to those campaigners who have battled for years to end this cruel practice that has resulted in the deaths of millions of pups.
Humane Society International’s China policy specialist, Dr. Peter Li, said:
“Recognizing that dogs and people have a particular affinity is a critical first step toward ending the eating and trafficking of dog meat. This might be a watershed moment for other Chinese cities to follow Shenzhen’s lead and prohibit the consumption of cats and dogs.
Remember that in several areas across the country, eating cats and dogs is a custom; some even hold an annual dog meat festival when thousands of pups are slain, sold, and eventually eaten.
Despite government assurances that these creatures are not considered food, Yulin, in the Guangxi area, leads the event.
The World Health Organization warns that dog trading transmits rabies and raises the danger of cholera.
Humane Society International hopes that after the new Shenzhen legislation takes effect, the rest of China will follow suit and put a stop to this horrible practice. Dr. Peter Li made the following points in this regard:
“Every year, tens of millions of dogs and cats, largely stolen pets, are victims of the meat trade, which is almost exclusively driven by crime and, probably most importantly at the present, poses an indisputable threat to human health with illnesses like rabies and cholera.”
The new rule includes a list of livestock that includes a wide range of species that can be grown for food, medical purposes, and other purposes.
This includes Sika deer, reindeer, alpaca, and ostrich, as well as mink, silver fox, foxhound, and raccoon reared for the worldwide fur trade.
Domestic animals, including as dogs and cats, are not allowed to be consumed, according to Article 3 of the new Shenzhen food safety regulation.
Although cats and dogs are exempt, the fact that so many animals have been approved as livestock is nonetheless concerning.
The vice president of Wildlife Humane Society International, Dr. Teresa Telecky, said:
“The rebranding of the wild visa as livestock does not change the reality that maintaining these species in commercial captive-breeding habitats poses tremendous obstacles, and their welfare demands simply cannot be satisfied.” Furthermore, there is strong evidence that some of these species might serve as intermediate hosts for viruses like COVID-19, therefore we are pushing governments all over the world to prohibit wildlife trade.
This new rule has marked a watershed moment in the country’s history, but it does not alleviate the concern that animals will continue to be endangered in order to suit the desires of a society that has entrenched agony, crying, and death of so many small creatures via culture or custom.