Another city in China strengthens its laws against the dog meat trade

01 September 2020

Following the news coming from China towards the end of May this year that dogs were no longer to be included on the approved livestock catalogue, another city in the country has issued a new notice which reinforces the fact that dogs are friends not food.

Laixi City is following a trend of cities taking a stronger stance on dog meat which started in Shenzhen and Zhuhai earlier in the year. The notice, called  "Laixi City Market Supervision Bureau to the city's food service operators notice", for the first time explicitly refers to dogs as not for slaughter and dogs are non-edible animals.

Article two of the notice states that “In accordance with the latest National Catalogue of Animal and Poultry Genetic Resources issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, it is clear for the first time that there are 33 species of domestic livestock and poultry, of which dogs are not included, and are not edible animals.”

Article three of the notice states that “the slaughter of dogs is strictly prohibited under the provisions of the Qingdao City Dog Management Regulations.”

The notice was not published on the governmental official website of Laixi city but on the city’s official WeChat social media pages. Suki Deng, Animals Asia’s Cat and Dog Welfare Director said in response to the notice: “This notice is not yet a legal provision, as the processes for securing that require discussions at the municipal, provincial and national congresses. Nevertheless, we consider this to be a solid representation of the local authority’s intent and it is a well-directed local initiative. We will continue to follow up on this and keep an eye out to see if more local authorities take similar measures to come closer in line with the new livestock catalogue announced in the spring by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.”

As Chinese expert lawyer Anxiang said: "the local governments also need to comply with the state law, especially after the revision of the National Catalogue." Anxiang went on to say that "dogs and cats do not meet the statutory requirements of the Food Safety Law and the Animal Epidemic Prevention Law for meat animal products, and related industries are illegal."  Anxiang went further, stating: "This means that the dog meat black industry chain, which was originally operating under the name of the Animal Husbandry Law, has been clearly characterized as illegal, and all the breeding, transportation, sale, slaughter and operation of dog meat, including the so-called "dog farms", are illegal.

What else has Animals Asia been doing to improve the welfare of dogs in Qingdao (the authority which Laixi is under the management of):

  • Animals Asia has held meetings with the staff of Qingdao's dog ownership management department and volunteers of a local NGO: Qingdao Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), to discuss humane dog ownership management methods, the building of dog shelters and other animal welfare issues.
  • Our Cat and Dog Welfare team has provided related manuals and other materials to the government staff.
  • In February 2016, Animals Asia went to Qingdao again to consult on their dog shelter, providing suggestions for improvements.
  • Volunteers of Qingdao SPCA have attended Animals Asia’s China Companion Animal Symposium twice and our Dog Ownership Management Symposium four times.

Animals Asia continues to monitor the progress in removing dogs from restaurants and the dinner plate. Enforcement of the law and regulations is a key part of that process and this notice is yet another step in the right direction. Public support for these measures is also crucial and Animals Asia’s programmes including Professor Paws and Dr Dog are helping to encourage feelings of love and companionship towards our canine companions across China.