Dogs look out of their cages from a truck on a motorway on the outskirts of China's capital Beijing April 8, 2006. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause
Beijing takes dog off the menu for Olympics
BEIJING, China, 11 July 2008 (Reuters) Beijing has asked hotels and restaurants in the city to take dog meat off the menu for the duration of next month's Olympics and September's Paralympics.
Dog is eaten not only by the large Korean community in China's capital but is also popular in Yunnan and Guizhou restaurants.
A directive from the Beijing Food Safety Office issued last month ordered Olympic contractor hotels not to provide any dishes made with dog meat and said any canine material used in traditional medicated diets must be clearly labeled.
Concerned that canine dishes might offend animal rights groups and Western visitors, Beijing said restaurants expected to be popular among foreign visitors must stop serving dog meat "to respect the dining customs of different countries."
The directive "advocated" that all restaurants serving dog suspend it during the Olympics but made no mention of the many popular establishments with donkey on the menu.
Criticism from Westerners caused the dog meat-loving South Koreans to ban canine dishes for a period of time during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
(Reporting by Liu Zhen; Editing by Nick Mulvenney and Jeremy Laurence)
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