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Thursday, 09 April 2020

Shenzhen bans dog meat

Featured Written by Our Dogs - 10/04/20

The Chinese city of Shenzhen, the country’s fifth largest, has just passed a law banning the consumption and production of dog meat.

It is the first city on mainland China to do so and the legislation has been welcomed by Humane Society International (HSI) who have long campaigned on this issue and they described the ban as, ‘a watershed moment.’

The legislation, Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals, comes into effect on May 1. Unlike the temporary ban on animal markets instituted by the national government this measure is permanent and it comes with heavy fines of up to 150,000 yuan (around £17,000).

Legislators acknowledged that dogs are popular companion animals in China with the official statement saying, ‘... 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. This ban also responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization.’

The law has clarified that dogs are not to be eaten so from May 1 the sale of dogs for human consumption will now be banned in restaurants and stores throughout Shenzhen and the sale of dogs for consumption will be banned in markets.
Dog meat is eaten by less than 20 percent of people in China and recent polls have found that more than half of Chinese people want the dog meat trade banned and 70 percent say they have never eaten dog meat.

Historic

Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist for animal protection charity Humane Society International, welcomed the news, saying, ‘With Shenzhen taking the historic decision to become mainland China’s first city to ban dog and cat meat consumption, this really could be a watershed moment in efforts to end this brutal trade that kills an estimated 10 million dogs and 4 million cats in China every year. 

‘The majority of these companion animals are stolen from people’s back yards or snatched from the streets, and are spirited away on the backs of trucks to be beaten to death in slaughterhouses and restaurants across China. 

‘Shenzhen is China’s fifth largest city so although the dog meat trade is fairly small there compared with the rest of the province, its true significance is that it could inspire a domino effect with other cities following suit. 
‘Most people in China don’t eat dog or cat meat, and there is considerable opposition to the trade particularly among younger Chinese. 

‘Although World Health Organization advice is clear that dogs and cats pose no known coronavirus threat whatsoever, it’s no surprise that attention is turning to this trade at this time because it undoubtedly poses a huge human health risk for other diseases such as rabies, as well as causing immense animal suffering.’

Dr. Teresa M. Telecky, vice president of the wildlife department for Humane Society International, said,’Shenzhen is the first city in the world to take the lessons learned from this pandemic seriously and make the changes needed to avoid another pandemic.
‘People around the world are suffering the impact of this pandemic because of one thing: the wildlife trade. Shenzhen’s bold steps to stop this trade and wildlife consumption is a model for governments around the world to emulate. 
‘We urge all governments to follow suit by banning wildlife trade, transport and consumption for any purpose.’


Read 706 times Last modified on Wednesday, 15 April 2020
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