China’s capital city Beijing has announced a permanent ban on wildlife meat trade in the city, along with forbidding dog and cat-eating. This announcement is followed by two other Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai, according to reports.
With many countries across the globe pointing fingers at China for negligence in spreading the COVID pandemic to the world, the country is constantly facing severe criticism. It is not unknown that the Chinese population consumes a variety of wild creatures that many people even find gross.
China is also associated with cruel practices in the realm of using animals for consumption or as a commodity. Viral videos of live turtles captured in small key-chains and sold openly had attracted the wrath of animal lovers all around.
With the spread of COVID 19 around the globe, rumors started spreading that it is the ‘live animal market’ in Wuhan that was responsible for the spread of the killer virus. But that is another story.
Authorities buying out exotic meats from farmers
Beijing announcing a permanent ban on exotic meat farming and cats and dog eating protects the 22 million population of the city from vulnerability. Goes without saying, it also saves the lives of countless animals. Global Director of External Engagement, Kelly Dent of World Animals Protection welcomed the decision from Beijing and two other districts. Dent commented:
“This permanent ban will help to keep people safe and protect animals from unnecessary suffering. However, if deadly outbreaks are to be prevented in future, we need to see this law extended to include a ban on the use of wild animals for entertainment, for traditional medicine and as exotic pets.”
It is already known that many more viruses of zoonotic origin are on the pipeline if our ways of animal consumption and commodifying are not rectified. China is infamous for voracious consumption and the use of wild animals mostly illegally.
The city of Hubei province, Wuhan, where the virus first emerged reportedly banned its citizens from eating wildlife for five years. News reports say authorities in Hunan and Jiangxi province were buying out the exotic meats from the farmers to stop selling.
China’s wet markets estimate to a billion-Yuan industry selling everything from cats, dogs, snakes, rats, bats, pangolins, monkeys, and so on. These breeds are either used for consumption or traditional Chinese medicine and fur.
Novel coronavirus infection is racing to touch 6 million cases soon across the world, with 360,919 lives taken so far, according to data by Johns Hopkins University. The majority of deaths have occurred in the US, followed by Brazil, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
Amidst such a devastating pandemic, the world awaits many more of such positive new changes.
(Cover image is a wildlife market in Myanmar via Commons)