A Chinese company has called on people in the country to eat dogs to show their “cultural confidence” amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Fankuai Dog Meat, based in eastern China , issued the call to arms in protest to a proposed law that would ban people from eating pets following the coronavirus outbreak.
It also sensationally claimed that the law was drafted to appease the West.
While the company does support the proposed law to ban the eating of wild animals, its chiefs blasted any move to include pets on the list.
In an article published within the country on Thursday, the company said the plan – that affects Shenzen – would be a “denial of thousands of years of Chinese food culture”.
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It said: “Extreme dog lovers are influenced by extremist thoughts from the West and appease Western rubbish culture without limit.”
The post was removed after it sparked outrage among Chinese animal rights activists.
Lawmakers in Shenzhen will debate the bill after the city of 13million were asked to give their feedback.
Guo Changgang, a Shanghai academic, called for government chiefs to bring in laws and effectively ban people from eating pets.
He told MailOnline: “The consumption of dog meat and cat meat has never been a social custom that is ‘widely accepted by the people’.”
Dr Changgang said he hoped the government would continue to crack down on the wildlife trade and extend protection to pets.
He continued: “Eating wild animals, dog meat and cat meat is one of the important elements that damage China’s international image.”
The government introduced the ban in a bid to curb so-called “wet markets” where live animals are kept near slaughtered beasts.
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Health experts believe the coronavirus outbreak originated at one of the markets in Wuhan, the city at the heart of the disaster.
The latest figures released by Chinese officials claim 3,158 people have died and another 80,900 were said to be infected with the virus.
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