Reuters has reported that the Chinese city of Shenzhen has instituted a ban on the consumption of dogs and cats. The law comes as an aftermath of the discovery that animals were the root cause of the new virus.
This new ordinance comes into play on the 1 st of May and is simply an addendum to an already existing government decree. On 1st February, the Chinese government ruled a prohibition on the consumption of wildlife in any form.
A spokesperson for the company has mentioned that the ban is extremely needed due to the call of civilization to stop consuming animals. Also, this is a practice made popular in most of the neighboring developed countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan. This isn’t all- a separate new rule is in place, which forbids the sale of any wildlife for business or consumption. The rule is called the Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals.
Newsweek reports that the animals that can be eaten are mostly poultry, pigs, sheep, goat, buffalo, cows and other domesticated animals bred specially for meat. CNN mentions that the punishment is strict – if caught, the convict would have to pay a price which is 30 times the value of the wildlife sold. This has a condition- the wildlife should be above 10000 CNY.
Liu Jianping, one of the major holders in the Shenzhen Government, spoke about how poultry and domesticated animals would heavily suffice the needs of the population. Also, he mentioned how there was no scientific proof to back the notion that wildlife meat tasted better than poultry.
The Humane Society International reported that around 30 million dogs are butchered every year for the population to eat. But interestingly enough, most of the population has never tasted dog meat or expressed a desire to. Nevertheless, this new rule has been praised in all circles who believe that things in China would finally change.
Dr. Peter Li of Humane Society International believes that the move made by Shenzhen would prove to be a major benchmark in the way things would correlate to animal slaughter. As it stands, every year almost 10 million dogs and around 4 million cats are snatched from backyards and killed for delicacies in restaurants. And that needs to be stopped immediately.
It also needs to be mentioned that Shenzhen is one of the largest cities in the country, so even if the trade in consumption of dog meat is limited- it would still create a ripple effect, leading to other cities following suit. They will also have the support of a large part of the population, which doesn’t partake in this heinous trade.
This new virus has ensured that the Chinese government knows exactly where they stand if they have to tackle this problem. This brings to light the rich heritage and culture of Chinese civilization, which heavily depends on wildlife- not just for food but also for medicines.
The Humane Society International has praised the efforts of the Shenzhen government in actually taking lessons from the pandemic and ensuring that the same doesn’t get repeated.