China has drawn up new guidelines to reclassify dogs as pets, rather than livestock, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak — a move that the Humane Society called a “game-changer” in animal welfare. The pathogen, which has infected more than 1.5 million people worldwide since it emerged in the Asian nation, is widely believed to have originated in horseshoe bats and passed to humans through other species on sale in a wildlife market in Wuhan. Dog meat remains a delicacy in parts of China, although it is increasingly unpopular and has been banned as food in at least one Chinese city. “As far as dogs are concerned, along with the progress of human civilization and the public concern and love for animal protection, dogs have been ‘specialized’ to become companion animals, and internationally are not considered to be livestock, and they will not be regulated as livestock in China,” the Ministry of Agriculture said in a notice Wednesday.
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