In a landmark step forward for our 4-legged companions, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has announced dogs will be classified as pets rather than livestock.
A spokesperson from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs told reporters that;
“With progress in human civilisation and the attention and preferences of the public with regard to the protection of animals, dogs have from traditional domestic animals become ‘specialised’ as companion animals.”
It is still unknown as to whether these changes will prevent the Yulin Dog Meat Festival from proceeding, which is just a few weeks away. And it also raises the question of how, and if the government will enforce this new policy. As typically, thousands of innocent dogs are slaughtered and eaten during the event.
The Humane Society International estimates that some 10 million dogs are slaughtered in China every year. This new legislation would be a historic step forward for China. The fact that dogs are no longer classified as livestock is a significant step in the right direction.
An HSI spokesperson told the Daily Mail that,
“This is a crucial change in China’s desire to end the cat and dog trade, for which millions of animals continue to suffer every year.”
In late February, China issued a temporary ban on all trade and consumption of wild animals – a practice believed responsible for the global crisis.
The Ministry’s catalogue lists 33 types of ‘traditional livestock’, including pigs, cows, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, camels, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigeons and quails. It also covers 16 types of ‘special livestock’, including sika deer, red deer, reindeer, alpacas, guinea fowls, pheasants, partridges, mallards, ostriches, minks, the American red fox, the Arctic fox and raccoon dogs. The last four species can be traded, but not for their meat.
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