Dogs off the Olympic menu
The ban, issued by the Beijing Catering Trade Association, forbids all 112 official Olympic restaurants from offering dog meat dishes, and urges other eateries to take pooches off the menu, Xinhua news agency said.
“If a customer orders dog meat, restaurant staff should patiently suggest another entree,” said Xiong Yumei, deputy director of the Beijing Tourism Bureau, Xinhua said.
The association has the power to ban dog meat from the official Olympic restaurants, which have been chosen by Beijing officials as ones where foreign tourists should eat.
The association said any official restaurant found violating the ban would be blacklisted, Xinhua reported.
The measure was implemented to “respect the habits of many countries and nationalities,” the Beijing News quoted the municipal food department as saying.
South Korea took a similar measure in 1988 when it hosted the Olympic Games.
Dog meat, which is especially favoured in Korean cuisine, is thought to have good nutritional properties, and is also used for medicinal purposes in China as it is believed to help lower high blood pressure.
Dog meat, however, is not a hugely popular dish in Beijing.