De­liv­ery firm bans dog meat from menus

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHI­NADAILY

An on­line food-de­liv­ery ser­vice’s de­ci­sion to re­move restau­rants sell­ing dog meat from its plat­form re­ceived mixed re­ac­tion from ne­ti­zens, as the de­bate over eat­ing dog meat in China con­tin­ues.

Ele.me re­cently an­nounced that it has re­moved from its app and web­site 294 restau­rants that sell a to­tal of 7,733 dishes con­tain­ing dog meat, cit­ing food safety con­cerns.

“Cur­rently, there are no quar­an­tine and slaugh­ter stan­dards for dogs in China and the ori­gin of most dog meat in the mar­ket is un­clear,” the com­pany said in an on­line state­ment, adding that it is very likely dog meat car­ries par­a­sites and the ra­bies virus, which poses a food safety risk.

The com­pany’s pub­li­ca­tion depart­ment told China Daily that the de­ci­sion was made af­ter a dog lover con­tacted the com­pany say­ing that some restau­rants on its plat­form were us­ing dog meat.

There is no law or reg­u­la­tion that pro­hibits peo­ple from eat­ing dog meat.

The com­pany said it takes no side in the de­bate on the is­sue, adding that it will also ban restau­rants found us­ing meat from cats, snakes and blood clams, as well as body parts of en­dan­gered an­i­mals such as shark fi­nand­bearpaw.

Many ne­ti­zens sup­ported the com­pany’s de­ci­sion. “It’s great. I like dogs very much, but am not against other peo­ple eat­ing dog meat. How­ever, the dog meat­mar­ket is chaotic and many dogs sold are stolen pets,” one ne­ti­zen said.

“Whether it’s for moral or food safety rea­sons, peo­ple shouldn’t eat dog meat. Some ped­dlers poi­son dogs to kill them be­fore sell­ing them. The meat from poi­soned dogs un­doubt­edly poses a health risk,” an­other ne­ti­zen said.

How­ever, some ne­ti­zens op­posed the de­ci­sion. “While some peo­ple like dogs, some also like pigs, cows, chick­ens, ducks and geese. If these dog lovers eat meat of other an­i­mals, they don’t have the right to stop other peo­ple from eat­ing dogs,” one ne­ti­zen said.

The de­bate over eat­ing dog meat in China has grown in re­cent years, es­pe­cially dur­ing the an­nual Yulin Dog Meat Fes­ti­val in the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion. The fes­ti­val, which falls on the sum­mer solstice of China’s lu­nar cal­en­dar, is said to be re­spon­si­ble for the slaugh­ter of thou­sands of dogs each year.

The Yulin govern­ment dis­tanced it­self from the fes­ti­val in 2014, say­ing that it is busi­ness­peo­ple, not the govern­ment or lo­cal so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions, who or­ga­nize the fes­ti­val to pro­mote their busi­ness.

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