The Shenzhen City in China has proposed a law that seeks a total ban on the consumption of dog meat to improve health safety amid coronavirus outbreak. The law, if passed, will be the first of its kind in the country, confirmed reports.
The draft regulation was introduced by the standing committee of the Shenzhen People’s Congress, the city legislature on February 25 and has until March 6 to submit public opinions. It includes a white list that comprises of nine types of meat permitted for consumption. The list includes pork, beef, and chicken along with rabbits, fish, and seafood. It excludes pet animals such as cats and dogs, as well as other reptiles and amphibians like snakes, turtles, and frogs as per the reports.
The authorities, however, did not publish a blacklist saying that China has tens of thousands of wild animal species and it wouldn’t be possible to list every single of them, confirmed reports. They further stated that the government hadn’t yet commented on when it would vote on the draft regulation.
According to the reports, a fine of up to 20,000 Yuan would be imposed on those who breach the regulations. The ban will also be extended to the farm animals, although, it did not appear on the white list. The Shenzhen lawmakers emphasized that the new regulations will still allow the use of wild animals for scientific and medical research and development purposes.
The consumption of wide range of wild animals in China has reportedly been linked to the COVID-19 virus outbreak by the epidemiologists. A wild species of civet cat sold in Wuhan’s illegal wildlife trade market was associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that had killed more than 800 people worldwide 17 years ago.
Reports suggest that lawmakers in Tianjin, the port city near Beijing have also taken the step to stem the trade of wildlife by outlawing the capture, trading, farming, transport, and consumption of the wild species. Shenzhen’s regulations, however, seek total ban and make trade and consumption of pets like dogs and cats a criminal offense.