The Chinese city of Shenzhen passed a law that bans selling and consuming dog and cat meat. More formally known as the “Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals,” the law will take effect on May 1 and is the first of its kind in China. This follows the Chinese government’s temporary ban on all trade and consumption of wild animals, passed in February following the coronavirus outbreak.
The law permanently prohibits the consumption of animals raised as pets such as cats and dogs, and other state-protected wildlife. Capturing, farming and breeding wildlife is also now prohibited under the new law. Violators will be fined up to 30 times the wild animal’s value if the animal costs more than 10,000CNY.
According to Humane Society International (HSI), 30 million dogs are killed across Asia for meat every year. Dr. Peter Li, the policy specialty for animal protection charity of HSI, praised the developments Shenzhen has taken to protect animals, both domestic and wildlife.
“People around the world are suffering the impact of this pandemic because of one thing: the wildlife trade. Shenzhen’s bold steps to stop this trade and wildlife consumption is a model for governments around the world to emulate.”
In a statement from HSI, he hopes that the historic decision will inspire other cities to pass similar laws. “With Shenzhen taking the historic decision to become mainland China’s first city to ban dog and cat meat consumption, this really could be a watershed moment in efforts to end this brutal trade. Its true significance is that it could inspire a domino effect with other cities following suit. Most people in China don’t eat dog or cat meat, and there is considerable opposition to the trade particularly among younger Chinese.”
Dr. Teresa M. Telecky, vice president of the wildlife department for HSI also applauds Shenzhen, saying that they are the first city in the world to take lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic and seriously apply it to real-life policy. “People around the world are suffering the impact of this pandemic because of one thing: the wildlife trade. Shenzhen’s bold steps to stop this trade and wildlife consumption is a model for governments around the world to emulate.”
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