Animal associations welcomed the decision: “It is the first city in China to prohibit the production and consumption of dog and cat meat”


Shenzhen, one of the largest cities in China, announced today that it will incorporate in May the prohibition of eat dogs Y cats to that of trading and consuming wild animals, imposed in the context of the crisis of coronavirus.

On its website, the municipal government assures that it is the “strictest regulation” that has been imposed in China since the national authorities launched a campaign against the consumption of wild animals after suspicions that the COVID-19 outbreak could be related to a market in Wuhan where they were sold.

The list of permitted land animals is limited to pigs, cows, sheep, donkeys, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons and quail, as well as “others included in the National Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Domestic Birds”, where other species such as buffalo, camel or horse also appear.

It is also forbidden eat animals like snakes or lizards; however, the southeast megalopolis will also allow the continued consumption of aquatic products that are not specifically prohibited, such as turtles or toads.

Those who continue to consume wild animals will face fines of at least 150,000 yuan ($ 21,130, 19,320 euros), while those who sell them will face penalties starting at 100,000 yuan ($ 14,090, 12,880 euros).

“There is no evidence that wild animals are more nutritious than domestic birds or livestock. Species allowed for consumption can meet people’s daily needs,” said number two of the Office of Food Safety at the Prevention Center. and Disease Control ShenzhenLiu Jianping, quoted by the local press.

The City Executive assured that, since the beginning of the epidemic, “the trade and consumption of wild animals has been a great hidden danger to public health”, something that “has attracted the attention of society”.

Apart from Shenzhen, the nearby city of Zhuhai and the province to which they both belong, Canton, have also recently issued regulations in this regard, following the initiative of the national authorities.

The animal associations celebrated the decision: “It is the first city in China what prohibits the production and consumption of dog and cat meat, “Humane Society International said in a statement.

Shenzhen It is the fifth largest city in China and, although the trade in dog meat is relatively small there compared to the rest of the province, the true meaning (of the law) is to be able to generate a domino effect so that other cities follow in its footsteps, “the document points out.

According to that organization’s estimates, 10 million people are killed each year dogs and 4 million cats for consumption in China.

However, despite stereotypes, the intake of these animals is not common in China and each time, especially among the youngest, there is more social opposition to being allowed to do so.

After the alleged sale of wild animals in the Wuhan market where the COVID-19 outbreak is believed to have emerged was linked, many Chinese people called on social media to end their trade.

Beijing reacted by decreeing the suspension of these activities and in the annual session of the Legislative Assembly – scheduled for early March but postponed by the virus – it will analyze a draft to definitively ban them.