Just weeks before the Yulin dog meat festival is slated to begin, China’s government called dogs “companions” reportedly signaling a wider ban on dog meat consumption.
According to the Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry released on Friday, dogs are not on the list of animals allowed to be bred, raised, traded and transported for commercial purposes. In a translated version from the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, dogs have been reclassified.
“With the progress of the times, people’s civilization ideas and eating habits are constantly changing, and some traditional customs about dogs will also change…”
Government officials agreed that the majority of people who participated in a public consultation oppose including dogs as livestock, and added that dogs have long been counted as “companions” and “pets” who guard homes, act as search and rescue, act as guide dogs and therapy animals for the blind and physically challenged and also rescue and guard police officers.
According to the Daily Mail, it is possible the act could prevent 10 million dogs from being killed for their meat in just a month before the Yulin dog meat festival where they are cruelly tortured and killed and eaten in the celebration of the summer solstice.
“With the progress of the times, humans’ understanding of civilization and dining habits have changed constantly. Some traditional customs about dogs will change too.”
More policies regarding dogs are expected to be rolled out in the future; no details have yet to be posted. The new directory went into effect on Wednesday. There has yet to be any national legislation released to forbid people from consuming pets officially.
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