Recent Spotlights: Animal Protection in China

26th September 2020 marks the sixth Dog Lovers’ Day founded by World Dog Alliance (WDA). Allow us to share with you the recent highlights on animal protection in China.

1. 31st March 2020 — Shenzhen, one of the four major cities in China, passed the “Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals”, which
outlaws the consumption of “any product derived from animals used for scientific experiments, public display and pet keeping.” Shenzhen became the first city explicitly outlawing dog meat consumption in China.

2. 31st March 2020 — Another major Chinese city, Zhuhai, passed  the “Zhuhai Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals”. The regulation states that, “the following animals are edible: (a) Bred animals listed in the ‘National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources’ that passed quarantine inspection. (b) Aquatic animals that are not forbidden to eat in accordance with laws and regulations.” The new law effectively made Zhuhai the second city in China banning dog meat consumption.

3. 21st May 2020 — during Two Sessions, numerous Chinese congressmen raised their voice for animals, introducing bills and proposals that ban dog and cat meat consumption, protect companion animals from abuse, and establish a holistic Animal Protection Law.

4. 29th May 2020 — China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affair announced “The National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources” which removes dog from the edible “White List”. In “The Elaboration of the National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources (draft for comments)”, it was mentioned that “following the progress of human civilization and the public’s increasing attention to animal protection, dogs are now considered companion animals instead of traditional livestock.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Similar to the implementation of a total indoor smoking ban, Shenzhen and Zhuhai have become national pilot cities for dog meat prohibition. When a new regulation is faced with controversies or in need of further publicity and education, it is often adopted first in pilot cities, then the whole country.Representatives introduce animal welfare bills every year in the Two Sessions, but the sheer amount of animal-related bills has reached a new high this year. Among all proposals and bills, the one that calls for a removal of dogs from the edible white list has generated the most international buzz, overseas media such as Fox and CNN covered the news.

5. End of May 2020 — China’s first dog education science center was unveiled and put into use in Shenzhen.

6. July 2020 — Laixi City, Shandong Province issued the “Notice to Catering Service Operators in the City”, clearly stating that dogs are non-edible animals, and the slaughter of dogs is prohibited.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In addition to banning dog meat, Shenzhen has been promoting the love for dogs and educating people to cherish animals and treat lives well through popular science education.18th September 2020 — the official Weibo account of China’s Political and Legal Affairs Commission, “China”, published a video that features the police breaking through the traffic of a busy highway to rescue an injured dog trapped within. The title of the video is: May the goodness of the world bring warmth to every life. The video is well received by viewers.

7. 18th September, 2020 — CCTV News covered a story about an abandoned three-month-old puppy wrapped in plaster. The Qinghe Police Department of the Haidian Branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau took on the case for “Picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

EDITOR’S NOTE: China’s most authoritative official website and media published the news on the same day. One can reasonably believe that senior government officials are already paying attention to animal welfare. We look forward to the establishment of further measures.

Although there is still much to be done, the positive signals from the Chinese leadership are inspiring and have filled us with confidence. The World Dog Alliance will continue our endeavor, hopefully the Chinese government will introduce a national companion animal protection law!

WDA Regional Director of Mainland China

Sky Liu

22nd September 2020