As late as March 2020, dogs were still considered part and parcel [literally] of China's meat trade. The country was responsible for slaughtering 10 million annually for consumption. As foreign as this sounds to Americans, China had no animal cruelty laws. Treating dogs as livestock aligned them to animals such as pigs and cows, which are still bred for food and milk.
Despite the scale of this horrific animal malfeasance, fortunately, it is not widespread in China. Only 20 percent of the population dine on dog meat, and more than 65 percent of its people have admitted to never trying it. China's dog meat dining mainly centers in three regions of the country: South China, Central China, and Northeast China.
Shenzhen became the first city in China to ban eating cats and dogs on April 2, according to the BBC.
China's Ministry of Agriculture announced a reclassification of dogs to "pet" status versus livestock. The new law now classifies dogs as "specialized" to become companion animals.
“As far as dogs are concerned, along with the progress of human civilization and the public concern and love for animal protection, dogs have been ‘specialized’ to become companion animals, and internationally are not considered to be livestock, and they will not be regulated as livestock in China,” the Ministry of Agriculture said in a notice.
"We’re thrilled to see a light at the end of the tunnel with China’s proposal to reclassify dogs as companion animals and bring an end to dog meat trade," Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, said in an email to Fox News.
"These animals are our dutiful companions and not our dinner fare. If COVID—19 has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot allow infectious practices such as eating bats, dogs, cats, pangolins, and other exotic creatures to continue not only for the welfare of the animals but for the health and safety of the human race and global economy.”
Further considerations . . .
But campaigners hope the government will take additional steps. Peter Li, China Policy Specialist with HSI, told the Guardian: “Listing wild animals, including foxes and raccoons, as ‘special livestock’ is concerning. Rebranding wildlife as livestock doesn’t alter the fact that there are insurmountable challenges to keeping these species in farm environments, their welfare needs simply can’t be met."
In addition, there’s some belief that these species can act as intermediate hosts of viruses, such as COVID—19." However, there is no proof that this is the case. Please see my research outlined in my previous blog, titled: "Are Our Pets Susceptible To Coronavirus?"
Primary Source: Fox News