China’s Shenzhen Bans Eating of Cats, Dogs, and Wild Animals Following COVID-19 Outbreak

Shenzen has officially become the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of cat and dog meat along with China’s wider clampdown on wildlife trade.

(DLSU’s COVID-19 Research Portal Gives Access to Research and Knowledge on the Coronavirus Pandemic)

This follows the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which originated in Wuhan, China.

Many experts suspect the virus to have passed from animal to human through consumption. This is due to the fact that the earliest COVID-19 infections were discovered in individuals who had exposure to a wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan.

In light of this, Shenzen will be banning the consumption of state-protected wild animals and other terrestrial animals taken from the wild, as well as captive-bred and farmed terrestrial wild species. The eating of animals raised as pets (i.e. cats and dogs) will also be banned.

“Dogs and cats as pets have established a much closer relationship with humans than all other animals, and banning the consumption of dogs and cats and other pets is a common practice in developed countries and in Hong Kong and Taiwan,” said the Shenzhen city government.

“If convicted, they will be subjected to a fine of 30 times of the wild animal’s value, if the animal is above the value of 10,000CNY [$1400 USD or Php70,000],” announced authorities.

Shenzen’s local government announced the ban last April 2 and it will come into effect on May 1.

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