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China calls dogs 'pets,' signalling the end of the dog meat trade forever

Officials from the Chinese Government recently referred to dogs as 'companions' and 'pets,' signalling the beginning of the end for China's barbaric dog meat trade.

By Ashley Murphy , 3 Jun 2020

The announcement came from China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs after a review into what animals can be bred and traded commercially.

An important statement

This year's report omitted dogs from the list, proof that attitudes toward China's dog meat trade have changed.

The minister who oversaw the review said that the vast majority of people who took part in the process opposed listing dogs as livestock. He then went even further,  describing dogs as our pets, companions, and friends.

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Although the minister didn't make any direct references to the dog meat trade, he assured reporters that more policies regarding dog welfare would follow. He also added that "some traditional customs about dogs will change too."

The news comes just a few weeks before the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in Guangxi province. Animal welfare experts predict that over 1,000 dogs will be butchered and eaten during the 9-day festival.

The dog meat trade is on its way out

But the festival doesn't reflect the views of Chinese society as a whole. A 2016 report showed that 64% of the population wanted the festival stopped.

Opposition to the dog meat trade is especially strong among China's young people and the growing middle class. And now that the Government is speaking out for pooches, it's only a matter of time before we see the end of the dog meat trade forever.