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)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, asia, asian, ban, cats, china, custom, dog meat, dogs, draft, eat, eating, fines, jail, korea, law, legislation, national people's congress, practice, proposal, proposed, restaurants, tradition