China bans dog from Olympic menu

China has ordered dog meat to be taken off the menu at its 112 official Olympic restaurants in order to avoid offending foreign visitors, reported BBC.

Restaurant workers are advised to "patiently" suggest other options to diners who order dog.

Any restaurant found violating the ban would be black-listed, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Dog - known as "fragrant meat" - is eaten by some Chinese for purported medicinal properties.

The ban, issued by the Beijing Catering Trade Association, forbids all designated Olympic restaurants from offering dog and urges other food outlets to remove the meat from menus.

"If a customer orders dog meat, restaurant staff should patiently suggest another entree," said Xiong Yumei, deputy director of the Beijing Tourism Bureau told Xinhua.

The measure has been implemented to "respect the habits of many countries and nationalities," the Beijing News quoted the municipal food department as saying.

The BBC's James Reynolds says the ban is one of several steps taken by China to avoid foreign visitors being amused or offended by local customs.

Authorities have also told people to queue up politely, to smile and not to spit on the streets.

During the 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea also banned doggie dishes from menus. Officials invoked a law banning the sale of "foods deemed unsightly".

Dog meat is eaten in some other Asian countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Laos.

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