A spokesperson said: “With the progress of the times, humans' understanding of civilisation and dining habits have changed constantly.
“Some traditional customs about dogs will change too.”The move could save millions of dogs a year in China.China could finally ban the eating of dog meat ahead of the barbaric Yulin Festival (Image: GETTY)China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has officially announced dogs are pets and not livestock (Image: GETTY)Animal charity Humane Society International (HSI) welcomed the decision and called for an end to the Yulin Festival.HSI China Policy Specialist Dr Peter Li said: “Now that the Chinese government has officially recognised 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.
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“The announcement presents cities across China with the perfect opportunity to act upon the government’s words by protecting dogs and cats from the meat trade thieves and slaughterhouses.“In just a few weeks’ time, the dog slaughterhouses of Yulin city will fill up with terrified dogs awaiting brutal slaughter for its infamous festival.
READ MORE: China fury: Why bat trade STILL poses huge threatIt comes weeks before the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in June which sees thousands of dogs and cats cruelly killed and eaten (Image: GETTY)“A great many of those dogs will have been stolen from homes and streets before being transported to Yulin.
Chinese animal activists found 62 dogs in a backstreet slaughterhouse in Yulin (Image: HSI) The terrified pooches were dehydrated, malnourished and some showed signs of sickness (Image: HSI) It comes in the run-up to the annual dog meat festival, which kicks off on Friday (Image: HSI)Many are strays picked up from the streets but others are stolen pets.
“They will be precisely the much loved companions and helper dogs referred to in the national government’s statement as being not for food.“The Yulin festival is a bloody spectacle that does not reflect the mood or eating habits of the majority of the Chinese people, and its continuation flouts the sentiment expressed by the Ministry of Agriculture.DON'T MISSChina told to permanently ban bat trade to prevent next pandemic [INSIGHT]China: How pangolins are ‘force-fed rice to increase price’ [VIDEO]Coronavirus warning: China’s wildlife trade ban 'must be permanent' [ANALYSIS]The ministry today published its Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry which did not include dogs on its livestock list (Image: GETTY)The move could save millions of dogs a year in China (Image: GETTY)
“As the Ministry observed, attitudes and appetites about dogs have changed and so now it is time for Yulin’s dog slaughterhouses to lay down the butcher’s knife, and consign the festival to the history books.”
Watch Out For Your Dogs Feet in the Summer. Hot pavement can burn your dogs paws rather quickly. To see if it’s too hot for your dog place the back of your hand on the pavement – if you can’t hold it there for 5 seconds it’s too hot for your dog. On really hot days consider walking your dog in the woods, on the grass, or waiting til the sun goes down.
It comes after China brought in a temporary ban on the wildlife trade in February in response to the coronavirus crisis.And in April two Chinese cities - Zhuhai and Shenzhen - announced bans on the eating of dogs and cats.An estimated 30 million dogs a year are killed for Asia’s dog meat trade, including 10 million in China.
The move to ban dog meat comes amid the coronavirus pandemic.The COVID-19 outbreak is widely thought to have started at a wet market, where live and dead animals are sold for eating, in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December.
It is believed to have made the jump from animals - possibly bats - to humans.
Millions of people around the world have been infected with the virus and hundreds of thousands have died.