Saturday 20 March 2021

Coronavirus pandemic should stop unregulated cat and dog meat businesses

Just a quick note on the grisly and sad topic of cat and dog meat. It is still big business in Vietnam and Southern China and elsewhere in Asia. At one stage Vietnam had a rat infestation problem and believed that the cat meat industry was allowing rat numbers to increase so they introduced a government directive to end 'cat-meat eateries' (Directive No.09/1998/CT-TTg). That law was revoked a year ago. It failed clearly.

Cat meat trade
The sad and disgusting cat meat trade can expose people to zoonotic diseases.
Pic in public domain in my view.

So there appears to be rumblings in parts of Asia on the subject of how to change people's habits in eating people's pets. It is deeply engrained. How it got to that stage is beyond my comprehension. It is obviously immoral. 

But a reason to stop eating people's pets goes well beyond morality. It is all about human health and wellbeing. The coronavirus pandemic tells us that when humans slaughter animals in an unregulated way in open markets they expose themselves to being infected by zoonotic diseases present in those animals.

Cats are the number one vector for toxoplasmosis for instance. I am sure a lot of Chinese and Vietnamese have caught toxoplasmosis from the domestic cats that they have eaten. They might not know it. They might feel a bit ill persistently. They have no idea that their low level illness is due to their careless approach to animal welfare and their unthinking habit of eating cats, sometimes pet animals.

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that another zoonotic coronavirus-type disease could be transmitted from domestic cats slaughtered for human consumption in a seedy market in the south of China. Surely the coronavirus pandemic must be a lesson to these people to be far more careful to avoid zoonotic diseases?

The Chinese conurbation of Shenzhen banned cat and dog meat because of the coronavirus pandemic. Clearly the authorities are concerned. Their eyes are open to the inherent dangers of unregulated slaughter and consumption cat and dog meat. Others need to follows asap.

A study found an association between Toxoplasma gondii infection and psychiatric disorders in Zhejiang, Southeastern China. This is not far from the epidentre of the cat and dog meat industry in China as I understand it. Is there a link between the conclusion of this study and eating cat meat?

Nature has a way of 'punishing' animal abusers. The pandemic is the paradigm example. Abuse nature and nature will strike back. If they can't stop eating cat and dog meat for reasons of morality then do it in the interests of human health.

Nature has taught humankind a lesson. Some Asians refuse to learn the lesson and digest it.

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