Dog meat has been consumed in China for thousands of years, but drafters of a new proposal want the government to ban the practice, shutting down restaurants and shops that sell dog and cat meat. Dog meat is most common in China’s north, although markets selling dogs and cats for consumption exist all over the country. But as the Chinese urban middle class grows, pet ownership becomes more common, and the conflict between caring for a dog at home while eating his brother at a restaurant becomes, well, difficult to deal with.
Protests and petitions from animal-lovers opposing pet meat have become more common in recent years. Chang Jiwen, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and one of the drafters of the proposal, has a less sentimental reason for opposing the practice. He told The Guardian, “We are proposing that all dog and cat eating should be banned because it is causing many social problems,” referring to a spate of murders and thefts surrounding the dog meat trade in recent years.
If the Chinese government adopts the proposal (which also concerns other kinds of animal abuse), eating or selling dog or cat meat would carry a 15-day prison stay for individuals, and a large fine for companies.