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Shenzhen becomes first Chinese city to ban consumption of cats and dogs

April 2, 2020

The Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen has become the first city in the country to ban the sale and consumption of cat and dog meat amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

The move comes after the outbreak of the illness — which emerged in Wuhan — has been linked to wildlife meat, prompting authorities to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals, the BBC reported.

Shenzhen took the wildlife ban a step further by including cats and dogs in its measure, which takes effect on May 1, the news outlet said.

Across Asia, 30 million dogs are killed every year for meat, according to Humane Society International.

But the consumption of dog meat in China is not very common.

“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 government said, according to Reuters.

“This ban also responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization,” it added.

The Humane Society International praised the city’s 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, the group’s China policy specialist.

Chinese authorities banned the trade and consumption of wild animals in February after it emerged that a market in Wuhan selling wild animals and wildlife meat could have triggered the outbreak.

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