A cat waiting to be adopted looks out of its cage.
Gulf Today Report
The Chinese city, Shenzhen has banned consumption of dogs and cats as part of a clampdown on the wildlife trade since the emergence of the novel coronavirus.
Scientists suspect the coronavirus passed to humans from animals.
Some of the earliest infections were found in people who had exposure to a wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan, where bats, snakes, civets and other animals were sold.
Authorities in the southern Chinese technology hub said the ban on eating dogs and cats would come into force on 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," the city government said in an order posted on Wednesday.
China's top legislature said in late February it was banning the trade and consumption of wild animals.
Dogs, in particular, are eaten in several parts of Asia.
The city's campaign to stop the eating of wildlife has won praise from animal welfare groups.
"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," said Teresa M. Telecky, the vice president of the wildlife department for Humane Society International.
"Shenzhen’s bold steps to stop this trade and wildlife consumption is a model for governments around the world to emulate."
Fearing that their pets could contract the virus, nervy or panic-stricken owners in China have put face masks on them, with slits for the eyes.
The city could become the first in China to declare cat and dog meat illegal if the proposition passes with public support.
The first thing that all people, not just pet parents need to understand is that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has clearly stated that there is no evidence of animals, including dogs and cats, spreading the Covid-19 virus.
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