Is there a way to finally ban consumption of dog meat in China? At the moment of writing this article I live in China for about three years, rough estimate if we sum up all of my shorter stays. I am well aware of cruel practices of dog slaughter in Mainland China, although apart from maybe occasionally seeing a dog in a cage, unclear if for consumption or not, I have not witnessed this practice in person.
I am involved in local animal rescue practices, and I avoid travelling around China as my network of veterinary doctors is limited to Shanghai, during my travel, I do not want to risk encountering an injured dog or cat in distress without being able to provide help.
There is an open debate on if dog meat consumption should be forbidden or not, some people raise an important question why dogs life should be protected more than, for instance pigs life or cows life. There is a strong logical and ethical point in this argument, however what I mainly oppose is not consumption of dog meat itself, but the extremely cruel way it is organised. I will save you the gore details of the practice, as you could research it by yourself, and this article is meant to be brief and solution oriented.
Today an announcement has been published on the official website of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of People’s Republic of China, representing a request for opinions on matter of animal consumption.
In accordance with regulations regarding the Prohibition of Illegal Wildlife Trade, the Elimination of the Abuse of Wild Animals and the Safeguarding of the People’s Health and Safety, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China published a draft which lays out the kinds of animals allowed to be bred for meat, fur or medical uses.
In the attached document, item No. 5 attracts my attention. It specifically noted the omission of dogs for meat, pointing out that dogs should be treated as human companions, and as internationally they are not raised as food - in China they also should not be regarded as food.
The Government of People’s Republic of China is requesting the public to provide feedback on this matter and lists available channels of communication, one of them being the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. It is not specified if everyone’s opinions are welcome, or only Chinese Citizens, thus let us assume we can all message them with our approbation of this initiative.
The quoted text from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China translates into the following.
Regarding the dogs. As human civilisation advances and the Public leans towards the protection of animals, dogs earned a special role as our companions. On international scale, dog is not an animal meant for consumption as food, and in China it should not be either.
~ Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of People’s Republic of China, “National Catalog of Animal Genetic Resources”, April 9, 2020
This it is the Government’s initiative, thus chances of them taking into account your opinion on this matter are much greater than in case of signing a regular online petition. With help of my friends who are Chinese speakers, I drafter a short e-mail content you can use to contact the listed above address.
您好！我是 YOUR NAME，感谢您方组织起草了《国家畜禽遗传资源目录（征求意见稿）》并于4月9日面向社会公开征求意见。我在仔细阅读了您方提议的基础上，现郑重提供我的反馈：
The above e-mail content translated into English.
Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is YOUR NAME and I am reaching you in response for call for public opinions regarding the “National Catalog of Animal Genetic Resources”, dated April 9, 2020.
I express my full support for action of banning of consumption and illegal transaction of wild animals in China and I show my deepest gratitude and appreciation for such initiative. Specifically regarding point 5 related to dog meat consumption, I also express my support.
How can you help?
- Copy the content of the letter of appreciation, sign it with your name by replacing the name tags with your actual name. Take
农业农村部关于《国家畜禽遗传资源目录》公开征求意见反馈.as the e-mail subject.
- Send it to email@example.com
- Help spread the message!
The deadline of submitting your feedback to above e-mail is May 8th, 2020. Once you prepare your content and have it ready to send it should look like this:
I would like to thank my Chinese native speaker peers for helping translating the relevant content and assembling this text.
Source and licence of drawing of the dog used to make figure with the quote, the licence permits of using the drawing for the purpose of this article.