Good news, animal lovers! For the first time, China has stated that dogs should be treated as pets and not food.
The development came after the country’s government imposed a ban on the eating and trade of wild animals due to the novel coronavirus.
It is believed by Chinese researchers that the disease originated from the animal markets in Wuhan.
“With the progress of human civilisation and the public’s concern and preference for animal protection, dogs have changed from traditional domestic animals to companion animals,” China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said.
It added that across the world dogs were treated as pets and not livestock and China should do so as well.
Around 10 million dogs are killed in the country annually, according to Humane Society International. The meat, however, is only consumed by 20% of the country’s population.
The move comes as hope for animal lovers and signals towards an end to the torture of animals and their meat trade.