Cities in China Bans the Consumption of Cats and Dogs

In February, Chinese authorities banned the trade and consumption of wild animals. The move came after it emerged that a market in Wuhan selling wild animals and wildlife meat could have been the starting point for the outbreak of the new coronavirus, providing the means for the virus to travel from animals to humans. News of this led the Chinese government to crack down strongly on the trade and on the markets that sold such products.

There are now close to one million confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, and more than 47,000 dispatches, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In China alone, there are 81,589 confirmed cases and 3,318 dispatches, said the National Health Commission.

Shenzhen has become the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat. It comes after the coronavirus outbreak was linked to wildlife meat, prompting Chinese authorities to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals. Shenzhen went a step further, extending the ban to dogs and cats. The new law will come into force on 1 May.

"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," the Shenzhen city government said, according to a Reuters report. "This ban also responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization." Animal advocacy organization HSI praised the move.

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