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.
India has amended a law in Jammu and Kashmir allowing Indian citizens to buy land in the disputed territory, said officials, sparking opposition criticism about a steady erosion of the rights of Kashmiri people.
Two people were reported killed and 26 others missing as Typhoon Molave hit central Vietnam on Wednesday, knocking down trees and tearing roofs off homes in some of the worst destruction seen in years.
A senior Chinese official accused the United States on Wednesday of deflecting blame and breaking its word when it comes to fighting climate change, as the simmering diplomatic row between the world's two biggest economies shifts to the environment.
The UAE has strongly condemned the terrorist attack, killing at least eight students and wounding 136 others. It took place on Tuesday in a religious school in the city of Peshawar, northern Pakistan, which claimed the lives of a number of innocent civilians, including children, and wounded others.