The city of Shenzhen in China is now taking a drastic step by banning the consumption of cat and dog meat amid the corona virus pandemic. But the consumption of turtle and frog meat is still permitted.
The coastal city, 1,100 kilometers away from Wuhan city – where the corona virus originates, has banned its citizens from consuming cat and dog meat, in an effort to stop wildlife trade since a pandemic broke out in China.
During this time dog meat is especially widely consumed in several Asian countries.
Previously scientists suspected the corona virus was transmitted to humans from animals.
Some of the earliest cases of corona were found in those associated with the wildlife market in Wuhan, where bats, snakes, ferrets, and other animals were traded.
COVID-19 has infected more than one million people worldwide and has killed more than 50,000 people.
The Shenzhen city government said the ban on eating dog and cat meat will come into effect on May 1.
“Dogs and cats as pets have a very close relationship with humans compared to other animals,” the Shenzhen Government said.
“This prohibition is also a response to the insistence and enthusiasm of civilization,” the statement was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
Ban throughout China
Chinese authorities in late February declared a ban on trade and consumption of wild animals.
So far the provincial and city governments have tried to implement the decree, but the Shenzhen Government is the most explicit in extending the ban to pets.
According to Liu Jianping from the Shenzhen Disease Prevention and Control Center, poultry, livestock and seafood are widely available to consumers.
“There is no evidence to suggest that dahging wildlife is more nutritious than poultry and livestock,” Liu was quoted as saying by the Shenzhen Daily state media.
The ban first proposed at the end of February actually also includes turtle and frog meat, which is often served in southern China.
But this week, the Shenzhen government acknowledged the meat of the two animals was “the hottest subject of debate”, so that it was finally allowed to be eaten.
The city’s campaign to stop eating wildlife has won praise from animal welfare groups.
“Shenzhen is the first city in the world to take seriously the lessons from this pandemic. They are making changes to avoid other pandemics,” said Teresa M. Telecky of the NGO Humane Society International.
“The bold step taken by the Shenzhen Government to stop trade and wildlife consumption is a model that should be emulated throughout the world,” he said.
Source: Adapted from ABC Indonesia