From the beginning of the outbreak of the virus, now known as Covid-19, until the end of May, more than five million people have been infected and more than 300,000 people have lost their lives in 213 countries and territories.
Some decision-makers in Asia have started to wake up to the threat that the trade can cause.
On March 16th, the Steering Committee for COVID-19 disease prevention in Hanoi met to continue implementing measures to prevent and control epidemics in the capital. At the meeting, the Hanoi People's Committee urged the people of the city to stop eating dog and cat meat!
On March 24th, the Assembly of the Indian state of Mizoram removed dogs from their category of animals suitable for slaughter. This was a historic step in the battle to end the dog meat trade in the state, where thousands of dogs are killed for their meat every year.
On April 2nd, the city of Shenzhen, the 5th largest city in China, announced a historic, comprehensive and permanent ban on the consumption of dogs and cats as well as wild animals, making it the first city in China to permanently ban the dog and cat meat trades.
On April 9th, the Chinese Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs proposed that dogs are 'special companion animals' rather than 'livestock' and are not for consumption. They also proposed a list of animals that can be consumed, and notably both dogs and cats are not on this list.
On May 29th, following on from the April proposal, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs published a new National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources, meaning that live dogs for food and dog meat are not allowed to be sold any more. A government spokesperson confirmed that, the majority of the public are opposed to the dog and cat meat trade and recognise dogs’ important role as companions and pets. This is an important step in ending the Dog and Cat Meat Trade in China!