Animal Legislation: China's Amended Animal Epidemic Prevention Law Comes Into Effect

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The World Dog Alliance (WDA) is an internationally recognized animal protection group. Since founded in 2014, the WDA has worked to improve animal welfare in China. China’s amended Animal Epidemic Prevention Law came into effect on 1st May 2021. Under the public spotlight since it was proposed, the new law has inevitably stirred up controversies soon after its implementation.

Many “dog haters” in China have created rumors to spread inaccurate information regarding the amended law, scaremongering, and implying that a law that requires owners to leash their dogs when walking will lead to unleashed dogs being considered stray and subsequently, culled.

Even some animal activists have misinterpreted the new law and are opposed to it, saying that “the new regulations on stray animal control give local authorities the perfect excuse to cull stray dogs and cats” and that “it is too harsh to require all dogs to be tagged and leashed when walking outdoors.”

Clearly, the newly-added guidelines on how to control and manage stray animals have caused confusion. The fact is, that, according to the Animal Epidemic Prevention Law, officials may only cull stray dogs with evidence of transmissible diseases such as rabies.

Since the amended Animal Epidemic Prevention Law came into effect, all slaughterhouses in China can only process animals that are on the National List of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources, a government-issued “white list” that does not include dogs as livestock. It means that there can no longer be any legal dog slaughterhouses in China, and that all dog meat products on the market are considered to be produced by illegal and unlicensed slaughterhouses.

The requirement for owners to have their dogs tagged and leashed when walking has long been in effect in many Chinese provinces; the new Animal Epidemic Prevention Law merely reiterates this principle by making the requirement national. On top of that, most dog owners in China are already used to leashing their dogs while walking.

The amended Animal Epidemic Prevention Law imposes better regulations on the care, transportation, slaughter, and consumption of animals, signifying an improvement on the animal protection front in China. As for the infamous dog meat industry, the new law essentially severs the supply chain, by prohibiting the slaughter of dogs and cats.

Since 2014, Genlin, the founder of the World Dog Alliance, has been campaigning for legislation to ban dog and cat meat. While Genlin believes enacting a law is the only way to eradicate such horrific practices, he is against the idea of tying this issue to food safety, as it could backfire, perhaps with new regulations for the legal slaughtering of dogs and cats. Instead, a ban on dog and cat meat should be regarded as a symbol of a civilized society, and a necessary step for China to achieve its ambition of constructing and maintaining an eco-friendly civilization.

In 2019, the World Dog Alliance proposed the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats. The campaign is widely endorsed by politicians in the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan. It is Genlin’s hope that the International Agreement will establish a global framework for all countries to enact laws and usher humanity into a more animal-friendly era.

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SOURCE World Dog Alliance

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