Another very important step towards improved animal welfare has just happened in China thanks to the catastrophic coronavirus pandemic. Quite a lot of good things have come out of this pandemic. The first city in China to ban the cat and dog meat was Shenzhen. And now we have the city of Zhuhai also banning it. This is a city in China’s southern Guangdong province where there appears to be a culture of eating cat and dog meat because they believe it brings health benefits. Widespread eating of cat and dog meat does not occur in China.
The reason why the city has banned cat and dog meat appears to be twofold. First, there is a gradual realisation in China that they need to universally recognise cats and dogs as companion animals. In other words they accept that they need to align themselves with Western values in respect of companion animals. I can remember a senior official in China remarking that in modern civilisation cats and dogs are treated as companion animals and not livestock.
Secondly, the China Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued a revised draft “white list” which states that dogs and other companion animals are not livestock. I’ve not seen cats excluded from this list but I hope and must presume that they are. The white list outlines which animals are allowed for human consumption in China.
The Humane Society International (HSI) believe that the coronavirus pandemic has played an important role in altering the attitudes of a section of society in China to the eating of dog and cat meat. This is despite the fact that there is no official confirmation that cats and dogs can transmit the virus to people although it appears to be recognised that cats can be infected with Covid-19.
In conclusion, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a shift in attitude by the citizens of China and the government in respect of their relationship with wild and domestic animals for the better and certainly in the best interests of animals. More needs to be done. It is hoped that further cities will follow and there may come a time when the government enacts a nationwide law banning cat and dog meat. It is a habit built upon the bogus belief that the meat has special properties. It does not. It must end for good.
Eating cat meat is as bad as declawing cats. They are both out of step with modern and common sense moral values.
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