China's Shenzhen city bans eating of cats, dogs

Nellie Chapman
April 3, 2020

Earlier, China has also put a strict ban on eating and farming of wild animals in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which appears to have originated from a Wuhan's wildlife market Hubei, China.

The Shenzhen government made a decision to extend the ban to cats and dogs as these pets "have established a much closer relationship with humans than all other animals", BCC cited government officials via a Reuters report.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, China in February banned the consumption of wild animals.

The virus, first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has been traced to a food market in the city that sold wild animals such as pangolins and civet cats, along as more conventional fare such as chicken and fish.

The notice whitelists animals available for consumption into two groups: poultry and livestock and aquatic animals.

From May 1, the sale of cats and dogs for human consumption will be banned in restaurants and stores throughout Shenzhen, and sale of live cats and dogs for consumption will be banned in markets. Animal-rights organization Humane Society International (HSI) has campaigned against the dog- and cat- meat trade for years and welcomes the ban as a groundbreaking moment.

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"This ban also responds to the question and spirit of human civilization". The order is part of a new legislation titled "Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Regulations on the Comprehensive Ban on Wild Animals", passed by the Shenzhen Municipal Peoples Congress.

Dr. Peter Li added that most people in China do not eat dog or cat meat, and there is considerable opposition to the trade particularly among China's younger population.

"Shenzhen is the first city in the world to take the lessons learned from this pandemic seriously and make the changes needed to avoid another pandemic", said Teresa M. Telecky, vice-president of the wildlife department for HSI.

China has approved the use of bile from bears for the treatment of patients who are critically ill of koronaviruset.

According to the National Health Commission in China alone, there are 81,589 confirmed cases and 3,318 deaths. Bear bile is a digestive fluid that is used in traditional Chinese medicine for its active ingredient, ursodeoxycholic acid. - People in central China where the coronavirus was first detected are allowed to go back to work and public transport is restarting, as some normality slowly returns after a two-month lockdown.

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