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Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China: [email protected] / http://english.agri.gov.cn/cu/

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PETITION TARGET: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

In a devastating step backward for animal rights and public health, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs could reclassify mink, raccoon dogs, and foxes as ‘livestock’ rather than wild animals, according to The Independent, likely in an effort to skirt the country’s recently imposed wildlife trade ban and allow the fur industry to continue to operate uninhibited.

Every year, over 50 million animals are needlessly tortured and killed at fur farms in China, where innocent creatures are crammed into dirty, overcrowded cages. They waste away in their own feces, malnourished and suffering, awaiting death from electrocution, toxic gases or bludgeoning.

These conditions are similar to those that experts believe sparked the COVID-19 pandemic. Humans and potentially disease-ridden animals come within unnaturally close proximity to one another, giving deadly diseases the chance to spill over onto a human host.

Two fur farms in the Netherlands were recently quarantined after several mink tested positive for COVID-19, serving as a sobering example of just how interconnected animal cruelty and human health are.

China has recently taken steps in the right direction — including banning the dangerous wildlife trade — and we must implore them to continue to enforce these policies. Sign this petition urging China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to show a commitment to animal welfare and human health, and keep mink, raccoon dogs and foxes classified as wildlife, not “livestock.”