Shenzhen Becomes First Chinese City In Southeastern China To Ban Eating Of Cats And Dogs

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Shenzhen becomes first Chinese city in Southeastern China to ban eating of cats and dogs.

A city in southeastern China is reportedly banning the consumption of dogs and cats as well as wild animals due to the coronavirus coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” officials in Shenzhen, which is about 16 miles from Hong Kong, said in an order Wednesday. “This ban also responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization,” the order said.

Experts believe the novel virus likely originated late last year at a wild animal market in Wuhan, China – the city at the epicenter of the crisis – before it spread through the country and across the world. More than 926,000 have been sickened by the virus and more than 46,000 have died globally as of April 1.

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In February, China’s central government temporarily banned breeding and eating wild animals to combat the spread, but Shenzhen’s order, which goes into effect May 1, is permanent.

Shenzhen Becomes First Chinese City In Southeastern China To Ban Eating Of Cats And Dogs.

President Xi Jinping said in February the country should “resolutely outlaw and harshly crackdown” on the illegal wildlife trade because of the public health risks it poses. Before the ban, 54 species, including pangolins and civets were legal as long as they were raised on farms and at least 3,700 markets across the country have been shut down amid inspections.

Shenzhen wet market
Shenzhen wet market

Dogs especially are popular in certain parts of the country. “There is no evidence showing that wildlife is more nutritious than poultry and livestock,” Liu Jianping, of the Shenzhen Center for Disease Prevention and Control said.

According to BBC reports,  the new law will come into force on 1 May. Now over thirty million dogs a year are killed across Asia for meat, says Humane Society International (HSI).

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However, the practice of eating dog meat in China is not that common – the majority of Chinese people have never done so and say don’t want to. Animal advocacy organisation HSI praised the move.

“This really could be a watershed moment in efforts to end this brutal trade that kills an estimated 10 million dogs and 4 million cats in China every year,” said Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist for HSI.

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