China compiles new list of animals OK to eat; dogs reclassified as pets

Bats aren’t on the list

BEIJING (CNN) – The Chinese government has issued a new draft list of livestock that can be farmed for meat in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

The list includes dietary staples like pigs, cows, chickens and sheep. There are also “special livestock,” such as alpaca, ostriches and certain species of deer.

Raccoons, minks and two types of fox can be kept as livestock, but not for their meat.

There’s no mention of the animals that scientists suspect spread the virus to humans. Pangolins, bats and civet cats are believed to be the source of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The list also reclassifies dogs as pets.

“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,” according to a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

Beijing also temporarily banned all trade in wild animals for food following the outbreak, which has now spread globally to infect more than 1.6 million people, but the new law has yet to be finalized.

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