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Delivery firm bans dog meat from menus

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-08 07:38

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 fin and bear paw.

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 meat market 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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