Tag Archives: China

China Shenzhen bans cats&dogs meat

China’s city of Shenzhen (12,5M inhabitants) has just passed a ground-breaking law to ban the consumption and production of dog and cat meat, the first city in mainland China to do so. The ban has been welcomed by long-time anti-dog meat trade campaigners Humane Society International as a watershed moment in efforts to ban the trade across China. The law also addresses the wildlife trade.

The food safety legislation (Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals) proposed in February by Shenzhen legislators, comes into effect on May 1.

Unlike the temporary ban on wildlife markets and consumption passed by the national government, Shenzhen’s ban is a permanent prohibition on the consumption, breeding, and sale of wildlife such as snakes, lizards, and other wild animals for human consumption, with heavy fines of up 150,000 yuan (€20 000).

Although advanced in response to the coronavirus outbreak, an unrelated ban on the consumption of “pet” animals was also included in acknowledgement of their status as companion animals. In announcing the ban, a spokesperson for the Shenzhen government said “… dogs and cats as pets have established a much closer relationship with humans than all other animals, and banning the consumption of dogs and cats and other pets is a common practice in developed countries and in Hong Kong and Taiwan. This ban also responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization.”

To further underpin that, the law clarifies those species permitted to be consumed (pig, cattle, sheep, rabbit, chicken etc, with dogs and cats noticeably absent). Therefore from May 1, the sale of cats and dogs for human consumption will now be banned in restaurants and stores throughout Shenzhen, and sale of live cats and dogs for consumption will be banned in markets.

Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist for animal protection charity Humane Society International, welcomed the news, saying: “With Shenzhen taking the historic decision to become mainland China’s first city to ban dog and cat meat consumption, this really could be a watershed moment in efforts to end this brutal trade that kills an estimated 10 million dogs and 4 million cats in China every year.

The majority of these companion animals are stolen from people’s back yards or snatched from the streets, and are spirited away on the backs of trucks to be beaten to death in slaughterhouses and restaurants across China.

Shenzhen is China’s fifth largest city so although the dog meat trade is fairly small there compared with the rest of the province, its true significance is that it could inspire a domino effect with other cities following suit. Most people in China don’t eat dog or cat meat, and there is considerable opposition to the trade particularly among younger Chinese. Although World Health Organization advice is clear that dogs and cats pose no known coronavirus threat whatsoever, it’s no surprise that attention is turning to this trade at this time because it undoubtedly poses a huge human health risk for other diseases such as rabies, as well as causing immense animal suffering.”

Dr. Teresa M. Telecky, vice president of the wildlife department for Humane Society International, said: “Shenzhen is the first city in the world to take the lessons learned from this pandemic seriously and make the changes needed to avoid another pandemic. People around the world are suffering the impact of this pandemic because of one thing: the wildlife trade. Shenzhen’s bold steps to stop this trade and wildlife consumption is a model for governments around the world to emulate. We urge all governments to follow suit by banning wildlife trade, transport and consumption for any purpose.”

Shenzhen ban details:

Article 2 prohibits the consumption of state-protected wild animals and other terrestrial wild animals taken from the wild, as well as captive bred and farmed terrestrial wild species.
Article 3 makes clear that the consumption of “pet” animals such as cats and dogs is not permitted; species that are permitted to be consumed include pig, cattle, sheep, donkey, rabbit, chicken, duck, goose, pigeon, quail and other livestock animals on the list that are raised for food, as well as aquatic animals who are not banned by other law or regulations.
Article 8: prohibits the consumption of animals farmed for medicinal purposes.
Article 17. The production or marketing (sale) of the above mentioned state-protected wild species and their products for consumption purposes will be fined between 150,000 yuan and 200,000 for a value of illegal activity that is under 10,000 yuan; and a fine of between 20 times and 30 times of the value of an illegal activity that is 10,000 yuan or above. For violations involving other wild animals whose value is less than 10,000 yuan, there will be fines between 100,000 yuan and 150,000 yuan (approx.€20 000).

Millions dogs a year are killed across Asia for meat, estimated figure is 30 million animals a year. There are are also to be more than 91.49 million dogs and cats kept as pets in China. An estimated 10 million dogs a year are killed for China’s dog meat trade.

The World Health Organization warns that the dog trade spreads rabies and increases the risk of cholera.

Most people in China don’t eat dogs, in fact dog meat is only eaten infrequently by less than 20% of the Chinese population. A 2017 survey revealed that even in Yulin, home of the notorious dog meat festival, most people (72%) don’t regularly eat dog meat despite efforts by dog meat traders to promote it.

Nationwide across China, a 2016 survey conducted by Chinese polling company Horizon, and commissioned by Chinese group China Animal Welfare Association in collaboration with Humane Society International and Avaaz, found that most Chinese citizens (64%) want to see an end to the Yulin festival, more than half (51.7%) think the dog meat trade should be completely banned, and the majority (69.5%) have never eaten dog meat.

Everest closed for climbers

The “roof of the world” Mount Everest has been banned for climbers for the rest of the expedition season because of the coronavirus outbreak, announced Nepal government after the meeting on the issue of COVID19 precaution measures.

The expeditions who already received the climbing permits from 14 March until 30 April are facing abrupt cancellation. The measure did not come as a surprise, because
China had already cancelled expeditions from the northern, Chinese-controlled, side of the mountain.

“We have decided to halt all tourist visas until 30 April,” said Narayan Prasad Bidari, Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.
“As of now, all issued permits and permits yet to be issued for the 2020 Everest season will be cancelled.”
The officials also advised foreigners who were unable to avoid coming to Nepal from 14 March to stay in quarantine for 14 days.

Most climbers come from the US, India, China, Russia, UK, Japan, and South Korea – and are a major source of revenue for the Nepalese government, purchasing trips for an average amount from $30 000 to $70 000 per person, dependent on additional services provided by local companies.

According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepal earns $4m (£3.1m) only by issuing Everest climbing permits every year, aside from wider tourism revenue.

COVID19: Mongolia President in quarantine

Mongolia’s President Battulga Khaltmaa and other government officials have submitted to a fortnight quarantine after returning home from their visit to China, the state news agency Montsame reported.

Battulga is the first head of state to visit China since the country began implementing special measure to curb the novel virus outbreak in January.

The President arrived in Beijing with Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar Damdin and other senior government officials on February 26, and held a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

They were admitted into quarantine as soon as they arrived in Mongolia as a precautionary measure, Montsame agency sources explained.

Moscow: seven Chinese hospitalised

Seven members of a tourist group from China were hospitalized in Moscow with high fever, Interfax news agency reports with reference to an informed source.

The tour group stayed in one of the capital’s hotels. After deterioration, seven people were hospitalized with high fever, ”the source told reporters. According to him, at the moment, other visitors to the hotel are examined by doctors, all are urgently taken tests.

World Health Organisation published hygiene recommendation to avoid contamination with coronavirus,

Two Kazakhs risk extradition to China

Kazakhstan should not forcibly return two Chinese citizens fleeing Xinjiang or prosecute them for illegal border crossing while their asylum claims are pending, according to Human Rights Watch.

On January 6, 2020, court hearings against the two ethnic Kazakhs, Kaster Musakhanuly and Murager Alimuly, on charges of illegal border crossing began in the eastern town of Zaysan. The hearing was adjourned after only two hours, although dozens of witnesses and supporters had traveled there to testify on their behalf, and the case was postponed to January 21.

If returned to China, the men would almost certainly face detention and a real risk of torture.

“The government should immediately drop charges of illegal border crossing, halt these proceedings, and guarantee that these men will not be sent back to China as long as their refugee claims are pending,” said Laura Mills, Europe and Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Kazakhstan can take this opportunity to demonstrate that, unlike in the past, it is a country that upholds its international legal obligations, respects refugee rights, and won’t return people to risk of torture.”

EU-China protect GI products

European Commission announced it has reached a landmark agreement with China to protect 100 European Geographical Indication (GI) products, including 26 Italian ones, in China and 100 Chinese GI in the EU.

https://twitter.com/philhoganeu/status/1192461158504128514?s=21

The emblematic Italian food products such as Barolo wine, Prosciutto di Parma ham and Grana Padano cheese will now have greater protection from imitation on the wast Chinese market.

Among the Chinese products to feature in the agreement are Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian Bean Paste), Anji Bai Cha (Anji White Tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Anqiu Da Jiang (Anqiu Ginger).
Four years after coming into force, the scope of the agreement will continue to expand to cover an additional 175 GI names from the EU and China.

https://twitter.com/winesolutions1/status/1191731814634807296?s=21

European Geographic Indication products are renowned across the world for their quality,” said European Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan. “Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while further rewarding farmers.

https://twitter.com/euagri/status/1192026337050943488?s=21

This agreement shows our commitment to working closely with our global trading partners such as China. “It is a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefitting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers on both sides”.

EU quality schemes aim at protecting the names of specific products to promote their unique characteristics, linked to their geographical origin as well as traditional know-how. This is one of the great successes of European agriculture, with more than 3,300 EU names registered as either Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) or Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). A further 1,250 or so non-EU names are also protected within the EU, mostly thanks to bilateral agreements such as this one with China. In value terms, the market for EU geographical indications is around €74.8 billion, and together they account for 15.4% of total EU food and drinks exports.

Uyghur economist wins Sakharov Prize

Ilham Tohti, an Uyghur economist fighting for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority, is the winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2019.

The winner was chosen by Parliament’s political leaders on 24 October 2019.

I am very pleased to announce that the European Parliament has chosen Ilham Tohti as the winner of the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Tohti has dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of the Uyghur minority in China. Despite being a voice of moderation and reconciliation, he was sentenced to life in prison following a show trial in 2014” said parliament president David Sassoli, while announcing the winner.

By awarding this prize, we strongly urge the Chinese government to release Tohti and we call for the respect of minority rights in China.”

« Older Entries