During a set of regulatory changes, China reclassified dogs from livestock to pets, according to reports. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture changed the rules after the coronavirus outbreak is assumed to have started at an animal market in China.

The classification change means that dogs cannot be bred for fur, food or other uses. The ministry explained its decision, “As far as dogs are concerned, along with the progress of human civilization and the public concern and love for animal protection, dogs have been ‘specialized’ to become companion animals, and internationally are not considered to be livestock, and they will not be regulated as livestock in China.” The livestock list included cows, pigs, chicken, sheep and “special livestock” classifications, according to CNN.

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The change is still in draft form and is open for public comment until May 8. Shenzhen, China recently banned the consumption of dog meat. China has been criticized by conservationists for both dog meat and exotic market policies. Experts believe an exotic animal market in China was the source of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Peter Li, China policy specialist at Humane Society International, praised the move,“This is the first time we’ve ever seen China’s national government explain that dogs are companion animals. Recognizing that dogs hold a special bond with humans is an essential first step towards eliminating the consumption and trade in dog meat.  This could be a pivotal moment that provides encouragement for other cities across the country to follow Shenzhen’s lead to ban the eating of dogs and cats. Companion animals have never been part of China’s culinary mainstream, and certainly most people in China want an end to the theft of their companion animals for a meat trade that only a small percentage of the population indulge in. Tens of millions of dogs and cats every year, mostly stolen pets, suffer for the meat trade which is almost entirely fuelled by crime and, perhaps most significantly right now, poses an undeniable human health threat with the risk of diseases such as rabies and cholera.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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