China Reclassifies Dogs As Pets Rather Than Livestock

Reuters reports:

China has drawn up new guidelines to reclassify dogs as pets rather than livestock, the agriculture ministry said, part of a response to the coronavirus outbreak that the Humane Society called a potential “game changer” in animal welfare.

Though dog meat remains a delicacy in many regions, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a notice published on Wednesday that dogs would no longer be considered as livestock. It uses that designation for animals that can be bred to provide food, milk, fur, fibre and medicine, or to serve the needs of sports or the military.

“As far as dogs are concerned, along with the progress of human civilisation and the public concern and love for animal protection, dogs have been ‘specialised’ to become companion animals, and internationally are not considered to be livestock, and they will not be regulated as livestock in China,” it said.