Eating cats and dogs has been outlawed in Shenzen city, China. Shenzen is also outlawing the consumption of wild animals, whether bred in captivity or caught in the wild. Eating wild animals now comes with a hefty fine: Thirty times the value of the animal when it is above $1400.
Chinese wet markets where wild and domestic animals are kept together in unhygienic conditions caused the outbreak of COVID-19. The Political Animal Lobby (PAL) has long documented the cruelty of the wild animal trade and of the danger to humans in these markets which exist in towns throughout China.
“If Shenzen city’s outlawing of cat and dog meat consumption is a sign of things to come, it is promising,” said Andrea Matthee from PAL. “To give some idea of the problem, eating domestic pets is not a common practice in China, even so some 10 million dogs and four million cats are killed for human consumption there every year, according to animal rights organization Animals Asia.”
This ban on dog and cat consumption follows on the Chinese government’s moves to regulate the wild animal trade in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The wildlife trade in China is valued at $18 billion (£14.6 billion) annually, and the breeding of wild animals and animals considered pets for human consumption have, until recently, been practices endorsed by the Chinese government.