I have been contacted by a constituent who is concerned about the Yulin Dog-Eating Festival in China and potential violations of animal rights.
Can the Commission confirm:
1. Whether this issue has been previously raised with the Commission?
2. Whether it has raised any concerns on this issue with the Chinese Government?
The Commission has received correspondence in the past referring to the cruel treatment of dogs in China, which are slaughtered for the consumption of their meat and for other purposes. However, the Commission has no power to act directly in non-EU countries on this specific issue.
The Commission works closely with some of its main trading partners to achieve a mutual understanding on animal welfare issues and internationally recognised animal welfare standards. The EU supported the adoption of international guidelines by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), including on the slaughter of animals. It falls to each individual member of that organisation, including China, to follow these guidelines.
Furthermore, the Commission is involved in the ‘Animal Welfare Standards Project’ carried out by the Regional OIE Collaborating Centre for Animal Welfare Science and Bioethical Analysis for Asia, the Far East and Oceania. The project aims at facilitating the implementation of the OIE standards on animal transport and slaughter in South East Asia, including specifically China as a collaborating country. Although the project focuses on farm animals, it represents an important step for making progress in improving animal welfare in China. The Commission will continue to be active in promoting animal welfare outside the EU and to keep an open dialogue on animal welfare with the Chinese Government.