Shenzhen, a city in China has banned eating cat and dog meat with the historic law amidst coronavirus pandemic. Animal activists have been demanding the Chinese government to prohibit the consumption of cat and dog meat for years and this new law is the first of its kind in China.
Lawmakers from Shenzhen have passed this legislation yesterday and according to a government notice, it will take effect on May 1, 2020. One charity group addresses the passage as a historic decision that marked a watershed moment in the animal protection in China.
The annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival is one of the controversial Chinese food festivals in which thousands of dogs are cruelly killed and cooked with low-torches and then eaten by the locals.
Apart from dogs, the authorities have also banned snake, turtle and frog meat from the dinner table. The news comes after China barred consumption and trade of wild animals, a practice believed responsible for the outbreak of the deadly virus.
The authorities have described the law as the ‘universal civilization requirement for a modern society.’ They said they had considered the practical situation of the city before including the extra species of animals which are not wildlife. The purpose is to ‘further satisfy the daily needs of the people.’
According to the document, nine types of meat are suitable for eating. They are cows, pigs, donkeys, sheep, rabbits, ducks, chicken, pigeons, and geese. Locals are also allowed to eat aquatic animals permitted by law.
Commenting on the need for the government to make a white list, a spokesman said the authorities wanted to make it easier for people to know what can be eaten.
The official said that there are so many species of animals in nature. In China alone, there are more than two thousand kinds of protected species of wild animals. He said if the local authority makes a list of wild animals that can’t be eaten, the list will b too long and won’t answer the question exactly what species can be eaten.
Animal rights activist has praised the government for this much-needed legislation.
China policy specialist for animal rights and protection charity Humane Society International, Dr. Peter Li said, ‘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 that kills an estimated 10 million dogs and 4 million cats in China every year.’
Shenzhen has made a historic decision and becomes mainland China’s first city that has banned cat and dog meat consumption and this step could be a watershed moment in efforts to stop this brutal trade that kills as an estimated 4 million cats and 10 million dogs in China every year.
The majority of these animals are snatched from streets or stolen from the back yards and are taken away on trucks and slaughtered in slaughterhouses across the country.
Shenzhen is the fifth largest city in China so although the meat trade is small there as compared to the rest of the province, its actual significance is that it may inspire a domino effect with cities following the law.
Beijing is yet to revise its law regarding animal protection, but the passage of the proposal was ‘urgent’ and ‘essential’ to win a war against the novel coronavirus pandemic. The exact source of the virus remains unconfirmed but scientists speculated it origin from bats, pangolins, snakes or some animals.
Chinese experts from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said that tests proved that viruses come from animals at the Huanan Seafood Market. Conservationists accuse China of its shadowy trade in exotic animals for food or their use in medicines whose efficacy is not confirmed by science.