Suspected to have emerged from the so-called “wet markets” in Wuhan China COVID-19 AKA the Coronavirus cursed a litany of temporary bans on the consumption of dogs, cats, and wildlife throughout many cities in China including Beijing and in Shenzhen as we previously reported.
The virus which has now globally infected over 1.6 million people with well over 100,000 deaths attributed to it so far is raising many questions about the consumption of animals in China and really on a global scale as people are rightfully concerned.
A list has been drafted by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture that presents which animals they consider to be used as “livestock” and consumable by humans.
Pigs, Cows, Chickens, Sheep and a category labeled “special livestock” that includes a number of deer species, ostriches and alpacas are all on the approved list for farming and consumption.
Two fox species, raccoons and minks will be allowed to be kept as “livestock” but only for barbaric fur farming as their flesh will be illegal to consume.
No specific mention of pangolins, bats, or civet cats who are suspected by scientists to have been the original source of the virus has been made in the press release or the list the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has produced.
Notably, dogs and cats are also missing from their approved list of “livestock” animals. If this list moves forward in its current iteration this would mean the first countrywide ban on dog and cat consumption that has troubled even non-vegans in the west for decades.
“With the progress of human civilization and the public’s concern and preference for animal protection, dogs have evolved from traditional livestock to companion animals,” said an accompanying explanation of the draft.
“They are generally no longer regarded as livestock in the rest of the world. It is not advisable to list them under livestock or poultry in China.”
Chinese citizens will have until May 8th to give feedback about this draft of what is to become a nationwide historic change in the law that will affect both animals and people alike.
In a statement yesterday The Humane Society International emphasized that the new proposal that has been drafted may be a “game changer” regarding animal rights in China.
“We have to await the outcome of the consultation phase but this draft could effectively pave the way for China to officially take dogs and cats off the menu,” spokeswoman Wendy Higgins said on behalf of HSI
Although the outbreak is still suspected of originating from the Hubei province in the city of Wuhan in Central China it’s still disputed as to what animal the novel coronavirus pandemic started from in their “wet markets”
A wide variety of wild animals were being sold there including snakes, porcupine, and raccoon dogs (who also have their fur used in fashion like the trim on coat hoods) as well as the aforementioned pangolins, bats, and civet cats who have become the prime suspects.
The term “wet market” is a term ubiquitous across parts of Asia to describe markets the sell fish, meat, and perishable goods.
To add to the confusion not all “wet markets” sell animal products but produce such as vegetables and fruit instead.
Despite the xenophobic and sometimes outright racist beliefs in many western nations the consumption of wild animals especially animals like bats, dogs, cats, and snakes is not common in the country.
Most wild animal, dog, and cat consumption occurs in China’s southern provinces where there is a highly lucrative trade due more to traditional Chinese folk medicine, beliefs and also outright poverty.
Researchers have noted that many of the animals in these markets are kept in unsanitary states close to humans making the risk of transmission spreading from animals to humans nearly inevitable.
While scientists still search to find which animal to point the finger at they seem to be forgetting the only one that is truly guilty, humans. If we didn’t consume animals and lived in a vegan world this wouldn’t have happened.