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.
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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