First Chinese City Bans Eating Cats & Dogs Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Shenzhen, a city in southeastern China is the first city to ban the consumption of dogs and cats. Starting on May 1st, the Chinese government announced that it would be illegal to eat animals raised as pets. This comes after many scientists believe coronavirus passed to humans from animals. Some of the first people who were infected with the virus shared one common thing. They all had been exposed to a wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan, where bats, snakes, civets and other animals were sold.
Dogs And Cats Have Personal Relationships With Humans
“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,” the city government said in an order posted on Wednesday. They acknowledge that these animals are meant to be house pets or companions and not to be eaten.
Chinese authorities have recognized that they need to bring the wildlife industry under control to prevent future outbreaks. People are still selling these animals for consumption just to make money. The Humane Society International said that “thirty million dogs a year are killed across Asia for meat.”
Scientists Are Still Looking For Answers About Which Particular Animal Caused The Outbreak
In February, Chinese authorities banned the trade and consumption of wild animals. After China’s 81, 620 confirmed coronavirus cases, scientists are still searching for answers about which wild animals contributed to the start of this virus. The consumption of bats has long been in question.
Bats can travel long distances and are also found on every continent. This is a factor on how wide of a range of places they would be able to spread pathogens to. Prof Jonathan Ball from the University of Nottingham told BBC, “When you consider the very way that they live, then they are going to have a large array of viruses.” He added, “And because they’re mammals there’s a possibility that some of them can infect humans either directly or through an intermediate host species.”
Pangolins are another animal in question for incubating the virus in its body before being sold at markets in Wuhan. They are on the brink of extinction because their scales are used for Chinese medicine. Pangolins and other wild species, including a variety of species of bat, are often sold in wet markets providing opportunities for viruses to move from one species to another. Wet markets get their name from the wet floors that are constantly washed due to animal blood and melting ice leaking everywhere.
Regardless of which animal was the cause of coronavirus, more Chinese cities are looking to crack down on lucrative sales of dogs and cats and other animals.