Under new legislation, “cats and dogs from Portugal can now enter countries like Nigeria, Angola, Colombia, Peru, Jordan, Libya, Ukraine, South Korea and the Philippines” while China, for the time being, is “only allowed mice”.
The news carried at the weekend by Expresso “raises the question as to whether these animals, which are traditionally appreciated in the gastronomy of these countries, are being being sold to be eaten”.
A spokesman for the ministry of sea and agriculture is quoted as telling the newspaper, “this is a world”.
Nuno Vieira e Brito is understood to have assured Expresso that all the cats and dogs were “going as pets. The mice too are pets”.
Whether anyone believes Secretary of State Vieira e Brito is another matter.
As Expresso points out again in the article, South Korea and the Philippines are both countries where “some breeds of these types of animals are served as culinary delicacies”.
Since 2011, when the government released 178 “products or groups of products to 71 markets outside the EU”, exports have grown by 7% in 2013 and a further 7.7% in 2014, taking exports as a whole in this sector to €6 billion, reports Expresso.
Among other unlikely new exports is that of the dead bodies of dogs “for experimental ends” to Japan, adds the paper. This has been a “recent” arrangement, requested to Portugal by Japan.