A Chinese dog meat processing company has condemned the southern city of Shenzhen for proposed legislation that would ban the consumption of pet canine flesh, saying the law was introduced to appease Western sensibilities in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Peixian Fankuai Dog Meat Products in East China’s Jiangsu Province published a blog post Thursday that blasted the idea, saying it was a “denial to thousands of years of Chinese food culture.”
“Eating dogs is a tradition with more than 2,000 years of history in Jiangsu … We should highlight our cultural confidence through the food we eat,” a company spokesman told the Global Times.
Shenzhen’s law was presented to the city’s governing council on Feb. 25. The proposal would also ban the consumption of animals such as snakes, frogs and turtles.
In its blog post, the company said it supports the proposed Chinese national law to ban the eating of wild animals but opposes Shenzhen’s desire to extend the restriction to “livestock.”
“Extreme dog lovers are influenced by the extremist thoughts from the West and appease Western rubbish culture without limit,” it said.
Guo Changgang, the head of the History Research Centre of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, has called for Beijing to enact legislation banning dog and cat meat nationally.
“The consumption of dog meat and cat meat has never been a social custom that is ‘widely accepted by the people,’”’ Guo said.
He said the national government’s efforts to crack down on the wildlife trade was intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“Eating wild animals, dog meat and cat meat is one of the important elements that damage China’s international image,” he wrote on news app Toutiao.
A Shenzhen legislator who supports the legislation said the proposed law serves to show the close bond between pets and their owners, according to the Global Times.
China’s top legislative committee last month passed new legislation to ban all trade and consumption of wild animals.
Beijing is yet to revise its wild animal protection law, but the passage of the proposal was “essential” and “urgent” in helping the country win its war against the epidemic, according to state newspaper the People’s Daily.
More than 124,000 cases of COVID-19, the condition caused by the coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, nearly 81,000 in China where officials have pinpointed its origin. Almost 4,600 deaths have been reported from the respiratory illness.
The legislative proposals in China have come amid an outcry in the United States from some who claim that the use of terms such as “Wuhan virus” or “China virus” is racist.