Shenzhen has become the first city in China to ban the sale and consumption of cats and dogs. Under new rules which will come into effect May 1, the government said it will be unlawful to consume animals raised as pets.
In February, following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, China passed a law to ban the consumption of wild animals. A prohibition on the consumption and farming of wild animals is being implemented across China post the Covid-19 pandemic, which is believed to have originated at a wildlife market in Wuhan.
Even though it is uncertain which animal carried the deadly virus to humans — bat, snake and pangolin or someone else, Beijing has admitted it needs to control its profitable wildlife industry if it is to prevent another outbreak.
Now Shenzhen will outlaw the consumption of state-protected wild animals and other terrestrial wild animals besides captive-bred and farmed terrestrial wild species. Additionally, the consumption of animals raised as pets, such as cats and dogs will also be forbidden.
Animals that can be consumed include pig, cattle, sheep, donkey, rabbit, chicken, duck, goose, pigeon, quail, as well as aquatic animals who are not banned by other laws or regulations. “If convicted, offenders will be penalized 30 times of the wild animal’s value, if the animal is above the value of $1400,” the officials stated.
The coronavirus outbreak is believed to have started at a wildlife market in Wuhan, and Chinese officials have conceded they need to control the wildlife industry in the country if it is to prevent another outbreak.
This isn’t the first time Chinese officials have tried to restraint the business. In 2003, civets were outlawed and culled after it was determined that they could have transferred the SARS virus to humans.