China wants to ban the eating of dogs and cats. The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday published a proposal for a list of animals that can still be bred for meat, coat, or medical use. Dogs and cats are no longer there, but foxes and ostriches, for example, are still there. The Chinese can provide feedback on this proposal until May 8, the ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry reports that dogs have been removed from the list because of major international concerns about abuses in dog breeding. Besides, dogs are becoming increasingly popular as pets in China, which is why many Chinese people disapprove of eating such animals. Why cats have been removed from the list has not been clarified.
Wildlife sales have been curtailed since February, due to the potential link between a market selling rare wildlife meat in Wuhan city and the outbreak of the new coronavirus. However, that ban led to confusion, because it was not clearly stated to which animals the ban applied. With the list that was published yesterday, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture wants to clarify that definition.
Earlier, the authorities of the South China city of Shenzhen banned eating dogs and cats. The new measure, which should take effect as of May 1, is part of a larger package of measures to fight the coronavirus and curb wildlife trade in China.