In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic — which is believed to have first spread to humans at a “wet market” in Wuhan, China, where live animals were sold for food — China has created new guidelines on which animals can be bred for eating. In one significant change, the rules reclassify dogs as pets rather than livestock. The move signals an official turn against dog meat consumption, and animal welfare activists hope it will lead to an outright ban of the practice. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said Wednesday that dogs would no longer be considered livestock, meaning they cannot be bred for food, milk, fur, fiber, medicine, or for military or sports purposes. In a memo explaining its choices, the ministry listed the “progress of human civilization” and the “public’s concern” for animal welfare as reasons for reclassifying dogs as companion animals from traditional domestic animals. It also said that dogs are not considered livestock elsewhere around the world, and China now aims to follow those global standards. The draft, which details which animals are allowed to be bred for meat, medical and other uses, lists 18 traditional livestock species, such as cattle, sheep, horses and… Read full this story
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