Chinese city introduces ban on eating cats and dogs after coronavirus outbreak

Dogs really are man’s best friend—they’re perfectly loving and loyal pets. So why would anyone ever want to eat them?

It’s hard to even imagine but some countries are still home to a shocking but legal dog meat industry. Many of the victims are stolen and badly mistreated before being slaughtered for food.


And now, the recent coronavirus outbreak that’s become a deadly worldwide epidemic is believed to have started at one of these wild meat selling “wet markets,” shedding a harsh light on this cruel industry… and prompting one local government to make a change.

Like so many cities around the world, Shenzhen, China is bracing to keep its citizens safe from the coronavirus outbreak. One solution: cracking down on the city’s wildlife meat trade.

According to Reuters, a proposed legislation will outlaw the consumption of animals like cats and dogs.

The law also bans the sale of animals like snakes and frogs for food. Other meats like pork, chicken and beef are still permitted.


The law is being promoted not only as a necessary response to the outbreak, but a long-overdue protection of the city’s pet population.

“Banning the consumption of wild animals is a common practice in developed countries and is a universal requirement of modern civilization,” a notice said. The law recognizes dogs and cats’ status as household pets.

Under the proposed bill, people caught eating animals from the protected list will get a fine of 20,000 yuan (almost $3,000 USD). Vendors will face a fine over twice that amount.


While the law still needs to pass, and only applies to one city, it could be the beginning of a widespread movement against dog and cat meat.

“Although the trade in Shenzhen is fairly small compared with the rest of [Guangdong] province, Shenzhen is still a huge city and is larger than Wuhan,” Peter Li, China policy expert for Humane Society International, told Reuters.

“This would be very significant and could even have a domino effect with other cities following.”

It’s sad that it took a global outbreak to end the sale of dog and cat meat, but we hope this is finally the breaking point that ends this horrible trade once and for all.

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