Chinese city moves to ban consumption of dog and cat meat, and wildlife, in wake of coronavirus

By on February 26, 2020 with 1 Comment

The Chinese city of Shenzhen has put forward a groundbreaking proposal to ban the consumption of dogs and cats, as well as several wild animals, as the coronavirus crisis continues to make headlines around the world.

The coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 2,700 people and sickened more than 80,000 around the world, has not been linked in any way to dogs and cats. But Shenzhen city officials included these companion animals in the proposed ban in recognition of the special status they occupy in Chinese hearts and homes, as pets. With the ban, they said, they sought to “further satisfy the daily needs of people” by including animal species that are not wildlife.

According to media reports, officials described the regulation as the “universal civilization requirement of a modern society.”

If successful, the ban on dog and cat meat would be the first of its kind ever enacted in the country, where an estimated 10 million dogs and four million cats are consumed each year. It would be a major victory for companion animal lovers in China who have been fighting to end the deeply entrenched dog and cat meat trade there. Shenzhen is an economic powerhouse and China’s fifth largest city, with a population of nearly 13 million, and such a ban would carry great impact, both in terms of the number of people it would cover and the strong message of compassion it sends to the rest of the nation

The proposal now awaits feedback from the public before it can become law.

China’s dog meat trade, which Humane Society International has been fighting for 12 years now working with activists on the ground, has attracted global censure. Each year, the world watches with horror as dogs and cats are ​killed for human consumption at the Yulin dog meat festival, but this same cruelty takes place year-round across China. Dogs trapped in this trade are often stolen pets, and they are transported over long distances in violation of the country’s live animal transport regulations. The trade also poses a serious public health threat to the nation’s 1.4 billion people: China has the world’s second largest number of humans infected with rabies.

In addition to dogs and cats, the ban in Shenzhen would cover a number of wild animal species, including snakes, frogs and turtles. The proposal does allow for the consumption of swallows’ nests, which are harvested by driving away mother swallows, leaving them with no place to lay eggs and nurse their babies. This is an extremely cruel practice and we urge Shenzhen officials to include swallows’ nests in their ban as well.

Shenzhen is already covered by the emergency measure China introduced earlier this week banning the trade in wild animals for food. But we are heartened to see city officials go above and beyond the national ban by extending it to ​dogs and cats. We commend Shenzhen authorities for taking this progressive step and we hope the proposal will be promptly adopted. We also urge the National People’s Congress, China’s ​national legislature, to revise its now toothless wildlife protection law and to get serious about ending the trade in dog and cat meat.

The world is watching, and waiting, and there is more at stake now than ever.

Breaking: HSUS helps rescue 140 dogs from alleged severe neglect situation in Florida county

By on February 25, 2020 with 0 Comments
Breaking: HSUS helps rescue 140 dogs from alleged severe neglect situation in Florida county

It’s clearly been a rough life so far for the nearly 140 dogs, including several puppies, we helped rescue this morning from a densely-wooded, five-acre property in Dixie County, Florida. As members of our Animal Rescue Team, who were assisting the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office, . . . 

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HSUS, other groups sue Trump administration for speeding up chicken slaughter

By on February 25, 2020 with 1 Comment
HSUS, other groups sue Trump administration for speeding up chicken slaughter

A coalition including the Humane Society of the United States today sued the Trump administration for allowing chicken slaughterhouses to dial up the breakneck speeds at which they kill birds. The increase, announced in 2018, allows slaughterhouses that receive a waiver from the administration to . . . 

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Breaking news: As coronavirus spreads, China bans trade in wild animals for food

By on February 24, 2020 with 21 Comments
Breaking news: As coronavirus spreads, China bans trade in wild animals for food

China today announced a ban on buying and selling wild animals for food, taking its most decisive action yet to halt a trade that has been implicated in the global coronavirus crisis, and that causes immense suffering for hundreds of thousands of animals each year, . . . 

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A year after his rescue from a Houston home, Loki the tiger enjoys sanctuary and reminds us why big cats are not pets

By on February 21, 2020 with 1 Comment
A year after his rescue from a Houston home, Loki the tiger enjoys sanctuary and reminds us why big cats are not pets

The cat playing with a blue buoy in the video looks adorable and will put a smile on your face, but it is important to remember that Loki is no pet. The 300-pound tiger was, however, being kept as one when he was found living . . . 

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Another gas chamber at an animal shelter is banished to history, with a dozen more to go

By on February 20, 2020 with 4 Comments
Another gas chamber at an animal shelter is banished to history, with a dozen more to go

The euthanasia of homeless companion animals in gas chambers sounds archaic and is inhumane, but the practice is still prevalent in four states—Ohio, Missouri, Utah and Wyoming—where there are fewer than a dozen such chambers in operation. That’s still too many. Since 2013, the Humane . . . 

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Undercover investigation of Maryland wildlife killing contests reveals cruelty, indifference to animal suffering

By on February 19, 2020 with 113 Comments
Undercover investigation of Maryland wildlife killing contests reveals cruelty, indifference to animal suffering

Our latest undercover investigation of wildlife killing contests in Maryland reveals a grisly world: one where contestants use digital technology to lure animals like foxes and coyotes to their death, riddle them with bullets in a mad rush to kill the most and heaviest animals, . . . 

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BREAKING NEWS: On Congress’s orders, USDA begins restoring inspection reports for puppy mills, roadside zoos and other facilities

By on February 18, 2020 with 5 Comments
BREAKING NEWS: On Congress’s orders, USDA begins restoring inspection reports for puppy mills, roadside zoos and other facilities

Three years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture inexplicably blacked out records of inspections at puppy mills, roadside zoos, facilities that do invasive research on animals, walking horse shows and other operations, leaving those who use—and potentially abuse—animals in their care with little or no . . . 

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Poster children for the SAFE Act: Kill buyers fined again

By on February 14, 2020 with 17 Comments
Poster children for the SAFE Act: Kill buyers fined again

Some of the people and interests tied to cruelty to animals seem to come right from central casting. That’s going to help us succeed in our efforts to secure passage of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 961/S. 2006, to permanently ban domestic . . . 

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At SCI convention, trophy hunters rub shoulders with Donald Trump Jr. and USFWS director; undercover investigation reveals potentially illegal sales of elephant, stingray, hippo skins

By on February 12, 2020 with 25 Comments
At SCI convention, trophy hunters rub shoulders with Donald Trump Jr. and USFWS director; undercover investigation reveals potentially illegal sales of elephant, stingray, hippo skins

At the Safari Club International’s annual convention each year, wealth, privilege and power come together with a revolting goal: mowing down the world’s rarest and most beloved wildlife. This year’s event in Reno was no different. Trophy hunters heard speeches from guest of honor Donald . . . 

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Mostly plant-based Oscars signal growing American concern over cruel factory farms

By on February 11, 2020 with 2 Comments
Mostly plant-based Oscars signal growing American concern over cruel factory farms

One of the Oscars’ most memorable moments this year came with Joaquin Phoenix’s heartfelt plea about the suffering of animals raised for food. The speech, which drew concern for animals into a broader framework of social injustice, followed an A-list nod to plant-based eating from . . . 

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BREAKING NEWS: Lawsuit prompts shutdown of trophy hunters’ panel in Trump administration

By on February 10, 2020 with 29 Comments
BREAKING NEWS: Lawsuit prompts shutdown of trophy hunters’ panel in Trump administration

A panel of trophy hunters appointed by the Trump administration to advise the federal government on international wildlife trade policy has bitten the dust. Following a lawsuit filed by a coalition that included Humane Society International and the Humane Society of the United States, the . . . 

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