According to a new government announcement, the southeastern Chinese city of Shenzhen has become the first-ever city in the country to completely ban the consumption of both cats and dogs.
Animal Consumption Banned In Shenzhen
Coming into effect this May 1st, the government said that the new rules will make it fully illegal to eat animals that are usually raised as pets, including dogs and cats.
Back in February, China passed a new law that would ban the consumption of wild animals, in line with the sudden rise of the coronavirus pandemic that is believed to have stemmed from wild animal meat from an exotic meat market in the Chinese province of Wuhan.
Now, Shenzhen extends that ban to include state-protected wild animals as well as other terrestrial animals taken from the wild, farmed terrestrial wild species and captive-bred animals. Additionally, the consumption of animals raised as pets is now prohibited, and will be considered a punishable federal crime.
On the other hand, the animals that can be consumed include cattle, chicken, pigs, donkeys, rabbits, duck, goose, pigeon, quail and other aquatic animals that have not been banned by other laws and regulations.
“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],” per an announcement from the authorities.
Animal Trade Ban
Earlier this year, China decided to temporarily ban the illegal wildlife trade that is so prevalent in the country because the coronavirus outbreak is believed to have originated from one of these animals, such as the bat or the pangolin. And while the ban is necessary, completely ending it will be hard for China because the cultural roots of the country’s use of wild animals runs very deep, with citizens using them not just for food, but also for traditional medicine, clothing, ornaments and even pets.
This isn’t also the first time that the country tried to keep its wildlife trade under control. Back in 2003, civets were banned and culled (killed) in large numbers because it was believed the SARS virus came from them.