The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has excluded dogs from farm animals in a draft directive published Tuesday – paving the way for canine meat being banned from dinner plates in all of China.
The directive, which stated it recognizes dogs as “companion animals” and “not suitable” to be managed as livestock, according to China’s Animal Husbandry Law, could save the lives of more than 10 million dogs killed annually for their meat.
The news was published on the Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry, however a worker from the Ministry denied that the proposal had been aimed at banning dogs from being killed as meat.
“In the wake of the progress of human civilisation and the attention the public give to animal protection, dogs have evolved from livestock to companion animals and are generally not considered as livestock internationally,” stated the ministry.
According to the Paper, dogs are not to be “managed” as livestock, but “it has nothing to do with the eating or breeding of dogs.”
One week ago the Chinese city of Shenzhen became the first city in China to ban the eating of dogs as the world fights the coronavirus pandemic.
Updates will be provided as more details emerge. Meanwhile animal activists and dog lovers – both in China and across the world remain optimistic.