A worldwide petition that began in April was presented to the UN FAO in Rome yesterday (23 November) to request that all western breeds of dog be removed from the list of animals deemed fit for human consumption. In 1998, the Chinese government imported dogs from US and Europe to initiate breeding trials into the viability of producing dog meat for the consumer market. As a result, the St Bernard was proclaimed the "dog meat of choice" for intensive farming and brochures advertising the unique qualities of the breed were distributed to potential business investors.