China is a marginal performer (“D”) under the VACI. Although China has a relatively lower level of animal product consumption, factory farming is increasing and its animal protection legislation is inadequate.
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China slaughters 10.2 land-based animals per person per year, close to the global average of 10.1. However, the country's dependency on farmed animals is relatively high, with around 5.1 farmed animals per person, compared with a global average of 4.1. China is investing heavily in intensive factory farms, particularly for the farming of pigs, chickens and other farmed birds, as well as cows for dairy production. China slaughters approximately 75% of all ducks eaten globally.
The Chinese diet contains a moderate proportion of animal products, with around 33.5% of the average Chinese diet made up of land-based animal protein, versus a global average of 35.2%. Each person in China consumes around 31g of land-based animal protein per day, compared with a global average of 27.2g. For health reasons, in 2016, the Chinese government announced new dietry guidelines designed to cut meat consumption by 50%. Futhermore, in early 2020, China announced new regulations banning the use of terrestrial wildlife for consumption and it is moving towards banning the eating of cats and dogs. Around 4-5% of the mainland Chinese population identify as vegetarian, which is well below Taiwan (13%).
China is rated as a poor performer ("E") under the Animal Protection Index (API), and its farmed animal protection legislation achieved the worst performance rating ("G") under the same index. There is currently no legislation regulating the rearing of pigs, broiler chickens, egg laying hens or dairy cows and calves. Learn more about the quality of China's legislative protections on the API here.