Despite its poor animal protection laws, China is a marginally adequate performer under the VACI (on par with the United Kingdom), due largely to its relatively low production and consumption of animal products.
China slaughters around 9.6 land-based animals per person / year, which is comparable to the global average of 9.7. The country’s dependency on farm animals is relatively high, with around 4.9 farm animals per person (compared with a global average of around 4). To meet consumption demands in a rapidly growing population, China is investing heavily in factory farming, particularly in poultry, pig and dairy production. China produces two thirds of all ducks eaten globally.
The Chinese diet contains a moderate proportion of animal products, with around 34% of the average Chinese diet being made up of land-based animal protein (compared with a global average of 35.2%). This equates to each person in China consuming around 30.5g of land-based animal protein per day (compared with a global average of 26.7g). For health reasons, in 2016, the Chinese government announced new dietary guidelines designed to cut meat consumption by 50%. As at 2013, it was estimated that around 4-5% of the Chinese population identified as vegetarian.
China was given a “D” under the Animal Protection Index (API), and is also a poor performer under the Sanctioning Cruelty category. This is largely due to the significant gaps in its regulation and enforcement of animal welfare and animal cruelty throughout the country. Learn more about the quality of China’s legislative protections on the API here.