Jan 29, 2010
Following recent reports in the UK press, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) welcomes news that China is considering a ban on consumption of dog and cat meat.
Read the article on guardian.co.uk >>
This is a contentious and emotive issue, with strong cultural components, but culture is dynamic, and humane treatment of animals is always appropriate.
WSPA opposes the farming and killing of dogs and cats for human consumption because of the considerable animal cruelty inherent in these practices.
Opinion polls confirm that the public in China is increasingly concerned about animal welfare, as in many other countries. This projected ban has been added to a wider proposed law against animal cruelty, which would be the first such legislation in China.
Unfortunately, the current draft of the law may also have disadvantages compared to earlier drafts that were circulated for comment.
Several measures that would have protected large numbers of farm animals and other animals have apparently been dropped, including requirements for humane transport and slaughter.
WSPA’s other serious concern is that the ban on eating dog and cat meat is sufficiently controversial that its inclusion may jeopardise passage of the whole law, including welcome plans to curb many ways in which animals are ill treated.
However, China would not be the first country to impose such a ban.
Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong have all enacted complete bans on the consumption of dogs and cats in response to public concern. And opinion polls in China also suggest that eating of dog and cat meat is reducing in popularity, especially within the younger generation.
This new measure may see China joining other countries in taking an important step towards protecting the welfare of dogs, cats and other animals.
Read more about our work to end the dog meat trade >>