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Concern for animal welfare spells the end of dog meat restaurants

Updated: 2015-05-19 17:36

Concern for animal welfare spells the end of dog meat restaurants

One of the dogs that volunteers saved from dog catchers peeks out from his cage in Yulin in 2014. HOU LIQIANG / CHINA DAILY

Many dog meat restaurants are no longer to be found in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Guangzhou Daily reported on Monday.

The number of shops offering the controversial meat has declined sharply, mainly due to tightened regulations concerning animal welfare.

Guangzhou, where eating dog meat has long been a tradition, launched a campaign in March to crack down on illegal dog meat businesses which do not have quarantine certificates.

According to a Ministry of Agriculture regulation issued in 2013, a quarantine certificate, which costs between 200 yuan ($34) and 300 yuan, is only valid for one dog or cat, meaning dealing in a large number of animals would cost a fortune.

Many restaurants that previously sold a great amount of dog meat could not afford the quarantine tests and shut down.

One well-known local dog meat shop that had been in business since 1963 closed last June and has been replaced by a hardware store.

A woman who lives in a street known for selling dog meat has witnessed the ups and downs. "It used to be packed with customers coming for dog meat. Now people choose not to eat dog with the idea of animal protection. I quit for years," she said.

The Local Food and Drug Administration continually warns of the potential risks in eating unconventional meat. Animals from unidentified sources may carry viruses which can put people's lives in danger.

The collapse of the dog meat business is not only due to tightened supervision but also shows people's changing views toward protecting animals.

A woman surnamed Xiao says she never eats dog and tries her best to persuade others not to. She believes dogs are natural human companions and should never be food on the table.

The dispute over eating dog meat has raged in China for many years and led to violence in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region last year.

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