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Eating dog could be outlawed in China

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The centuries-old custom of eating dogs in China could become a crime under a proposal that is expected to be sent to the National People’s Congress in April.

What would be the nation’s first law against animal abuse would fine anyone caught eating dog or cat up to  5,000 yuan and up to 15 days in jail. The law would fine “organizations” involved in the practice between 10,000 yuan and 500,000 yuan.

Dog is an age-old delicacy in parts of China, especially in the frigid regions of northeastern China. Nationwide there are dog farms where animals are raised for their meat ande fur.

The proposal comes as a new generation of rich, pet-loving urban Chinese comes of age, the Times of London reports.

Earlier attempts to draft an animal welfare bill in China were dropped after public complaints that human rights should be perfected first.

Dog meat, as in some other Asian cultures, has long been promoted by practitioners of traditional medicine for being high in protein, boosts energy levels and increases male virility.

One waiter at the Cool Old Lady Dog Meat Restaurant in the northeastern city of Shenyang said animal protection awareness was altering popular attitudes about eating cat and dog, according to the Times story. “Personally I think these two animals shouldn’t be food. They’re lovely. I just work for this restaurant to make a living, I have no choice. If the law is passed, I think our restaurant will sell other dishes.”

In recent years, animal rights activist groups have sprung up in many Chinese cities, fighting to halt mass shipments of cats and dogs, crammed in wire cages, from the north to the markets and restaurants of Guangdong. Activists have published photographs on the internet to raise awareness of the fate of the cats.

(Photo: Dogs being sold for meat at Moran Market in South Korea/by John Woestendiek)

Comments

Comment from Gus and Wally
Time January 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

and then there are the Chinese raising dogs for supposedly “faux” fur but it is really dogs giving their lives for this product sold to AMERICA as fake, dogs that are skinned while still alive. Chinese animal cruelty goes back centuries, there is even a tale of an emperor who had his horses taught to dance and because when the music played and they danced when he capriciously decided they shouldn’t he had them whipped to death.

If the Chinese do make a law kinder to animals I might consider ending my personal boycott of all products from that country. Maybe. There is a lot of evil trickling over from that particular pond.

Comment from john649
Time January 26, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I truly hope the chinese will set a new standard for treating animals better. The new generation will have to demand the old barbaric customs be stopped and insist that animals be loved and not tortured.

Comment from Anne’n'Spencer
Time January 27, 2010 at 12:14 am

I hope by now they’ve stopped the fur thing. That was pretty barbaric.

I seldom de-cloak as ohmidog!’s genial web host(ess), but I’ve gotten a number of completely befuddling spams recently that are addressed to me in that capacity. They’re from Chinese dog food manufacturers anxious to explore business opportunities. It’s never wise to answer spam, and I never do, but my imaginary answer includes a lot of capital letters and exclamation marks, as in WHAT, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND??? IT’S NOT DOG FOOD, IT’S MELAMINE!! And other, less dignified exclamations.

I seriously doubt that it’s possible to boycott everything that comes from China. And I’m always careful about condemning cultural practices I may not understand. But in this case, I’ll make an exception. China had an advanced culture when my ancestors were still painting their faces blue. Their contributions to the arts, literature, science, engineering, and philosophy are boundless and of incalculable value. As an animal lover and inhabitant of the WorldWideWeb, I’d have to say that in another generation we’ll have forgotten all that because of their current actions. At this point, I seem to associate terms like “scurrilous hacker,” “dog poisoner,” “baby poisoner,” and worse with China. I’m glad there are people there who are trying to be more compassionate to animals, and I hope some dogs and cats may be saved from cruel torture by means of these laws.

Comment from Gus and Wally
Time January 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Anne ‘n Spencer, my ancestors also painted their faces blue – I’m of Scots heritage, after all. Yes – it is very difficult to personally boycott all things Chinese and I make a considerable effort to do so. If I have “consumed” (hate hate hate that word) anything Chinese it won’t be for lack of trying to discern the source.

Thank you for hostessing a wonderful blog/forum. I get so much of my daily dose of dog news, good and bad, from ohmidog and because of the excellent writing skills of Mr. Woestendiek am able to follow up researching in greater depth certain things of which he blogs.

Comment from Chas
Time January 29, 2010 at 3:22 pm

The anti animal cruelty law is an “expert advisory draft” from China Academy of Social Science and Law, and must be reviewed by the legislative body. How much of it will become legislative proposal remains to be seen.

Also, it does not ban dog/cat meat consumption, only regulation for humane treatment and sanitation for consumer. The academy did consider regional culture and tradition when drafting this proposal.

BTW, if some Hindus think cows are God, should we not eat beef? Dog and cat are considered food animal in many culture around the world. Rabbit is pet in our society, yet we eat rabbits. If intelligence is the criteria pigs are smarter than cat, but pork chops are okay?

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