Now they’re considered companion animals.
The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has removed dogs from the list of animals whose meat can be eaten.
A list of animals classified as livestock in China recently published by the ministry says that dogs should no longer be considered as ordinary pets. “Along with the development of human civilization and the public’s concern for animal welfare, dogs have become companion animals,” Quartz quotes the document as saying.
The latest list of pets includes 13 ‘traditional livestock’ species such as pigs, cows, chickens and turkeys, and 18 ‘special livestock’ species. For example, various types of deer that can be bred for food, the ministry said. This list is not final and could be expanded. The document is submitted for discussion until May 8.
The appearance of the document, according to the publication, has accelerated suspicions that the outbreak of COVID-19 was caused by a new coronavirus, transmitted from wild animals to humans. Earlier in February, China temporarily banned eating wild animal meat. There’s still no permanent ban.
On April 2, Shenzhen city authorities in southern China were the first to ban eating meat of dogs and cats.
The Hong Kong Animals Asia animal protection group estimates that about 10 million dogs and four million cats are killed and eaten in China every year. This practice has been increasingly criticized by animal protectors. In 2016, a group of dog lovers tried to stop a truck that was on its way to the slaughterhouse and was carrying 320 dogs. They got into a fight with the driver, which led to a huge traffic jam on the highway.