Beijing: Shenzhen has become the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of dogs and cats, a move that comes after the coronavirus outbreak was linked to wildlife meat, prompting authorities to ban the trade and eating of wild animals, a media report said on Thursday.
The new law will come into force on May 1, the BBC report said. In a statement, authothorities in Shenzhen said that "dogs and cats as pets have established a much closer relationship with humans than all other animals", adding that the ban "also responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization".
In February, Chinese authorities banned the trade and consumption of wild animals. The move came after it emerged that a wet market in Wuhan could have been the starting point for the outbreak of the new coronavirus, providing the means for the virus to travel from animals to humans.
News of this led the Chinese government to crack down strongly on the trade and on the markets that sold such products. The coronavirus pandemic was still raging across the world, posing a test for countries and regions, as the global number of confirmed cases increased to 937,567, according to the latest update by the Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).
As of Thursday morning, the CSSE data showed that the global death toll stood at 47,226.