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Ahead of Yulin Dog Meat Festival, Chinese Officials Remind That Dogs Are “Pets – Not Food!”

Mark Andrew

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  • China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has recently declared that dogs are “companions and pets,” not “livestock,” removing dogs from the list of animals allowed for trade and consumption.
  • The reminder comes weeks before the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
  • Activists continue to oppose dog meat trade and the annual festival.

As the annual Yulin dog meat festival approaches, Chinese authorities have taken it upon themselves to remind the public that dogs are “companions” and “pets,” not “livestock.” According to reports, the government is also making moves to implement a wider ban on the consumption and trade of canine meat.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently made the announcement as they removed dogs from the list of animals in the Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry.

As a spokesperson from the agency said that with the passing of years, “some traditional customs about dogs will change too.”

Every year, thousands of dogs are killed and cooked in the meat festival in Yulin, a city in the province of Guangxi. The 9-day “celebration” is usually held from June 21 to June 30.

Of course, animal rights activists continue to express opposition against the disgusting tradition.

In an online petition by the The Humane Society of the United States, we read:

“Each year, thousands of dogs are captured and transported under horrific conditions, bound for the annual Dog Meat Festival… They are confined to crowded cages without food or water until they are killed—often beaten and their throats slit—to ultimately be eaten. Many of these dogs are stolen pets.”

Humane Society International’s Dr Peter Li added that the festival “does not reflect the mood or eating habits of the majority of the Chinese people.”

Dr Li likewise pointed out:

“Now that the Chinese government has officially recognized dogs as companions and not livestock, we are hopeful that China will take stronger steps to hasten the end of the dog and cat meat trade for which millions of animals continue to suffer every year.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has previously issued a warning that dog meat trade increases the chances of spreading rabies and cholera.

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