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Is The End In Sight For The Chinese Dog Meat Trade?

"Calls to make Chinese restaurants dog meat free could be getting through".

China's animal welfare groups have called for end to dog eating. In what will be an historic and bold move, Chinese animal welfare groups have unanimously called for a ban on dog eating.

Guangzhou, 27 March, 2006-- The first China Companion Animal Symposium took place this March in Guangzhou - the dog and cat eating capital of Asia. This historic advancement in Chinese animal welfare also saw the call for an outright ban on the century's old practice of dog and cat eating.

Millions of dogs and cats are slaughtered for consumption in China annually. Many suffer deliberate, horrific abuse in the mistaken belief that 'torture equals taste'. A gaping hole in the law leaves them with no protection.

The meeting brought together 32 grassroots groups from around the country, plus international groups such as Britain's RSPCA and was called by UK and Hong Kong charity the Animal Asia foundation.

The meeting also called for an end to the dog and cat fur trade and the introduction of countrywide de-sexing programmes for companion animals.

Many of the delegates spoke of the horrors they faced daily in their fight to save and house abandoned dogs and the need for laws to protect domestic animals from abuse and neglect.

Guest speaker Professor Song Wei, a lecturer in law at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui province, said, "Abuse cases today always spark huge public outrage. There is much more awareness of animal welfare."

Guangzhou veterinary surgeon, Dr John Wu, who runs Leader Animal Clinic, said it was crucial to change this way of thinking, now, while the trend of keeping pets was sweeping China's middle-class.

Jill Robinson, founder and CEO of Animals Asia said the symposium showed that there was a groundswell of change, with community concern for companion animals rapidly increasing and authorities becoming more aware of the need for animal welfare. "Imagine this forum happening 10 or even five years ago - it simply wouldn't have been possible," she said. "Caring people in China are speaking out � it's time to use their voices for change."

USEFUL LINKS

www.animalsasia.org

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