Shenzhen Becomes First Chinese City to Ban Consumption of Dogs and Cats


Sam Garcia/EPM

With the threat of the coronavirus hanging over the world, Shenzhen, China’s fifth largest city, has taken precautions to slow down the spread of the virus. Effective May 1, the consumption of cats and dogs will be banned.

Last Thursday, the city of Shenzhen announced legislation to ban the sale and consumption of dogs and cats, making it the first city in China to do so.

The move comes after a similar announcement in Feb, when Chinese authorities banned the sale and consumption of wildlife meat. That announcement came after authorities found a link between the COVID-19 virus and wildlife meat.

The “Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals” permanently bans the consumption of “pet animals” – such as dogs and cats. The new legislation also bans the consumption, breeding, and sale of wildlife. Animals that can be eaten include pigs, cattle, sheep, donkeys, geese, chicken, ducks, and rabbits. The law will go into effect May.1.

“Dogs and cats as pets have established a much closer relationship with humans than all other animals, and banning the consumption of dogs and cats and other pets is a common practice in developed countries and in Hong Kong and Taiwan,” a spokesperson for the Shenzhen government said, according Newsweek. “This ban also responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization.”

According to the Humane Society International, there are 30 million dogs killed across Asia every year. Eating dog meat in China, however, is not very common. The BBC reported that the majority of people in China have never eaten dog meat. Those same people also said they do not intend to try dog meat.

Penalty for breaking the law

According to CNN, Chinese authorities stated that those convicted will be fined “30 times the wild animal’s value, if the animal is above the value of 10,000CNY [$1,400USD].”

As of today, the CDC reported 1,413,415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world. There are more than 80,000 confirmed cases in China. This latest legislation from the Chinese government is another step in fighting against the disease.