After the novel coronavirus outbreak was linked to wildlife meat, the Chinese city of Shenzhen has passed a law that bans the consumption and sale of pet animals such as dog and cat meat.

To be implemented on May 1, the prohibition is part of a food safety legislation called the "Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals."

The historic new law is longed by activists to pave the path to finally put an end to the brutal trade.

Shenzhen, with a population of 13 million people, will mark an end to the trade on pet meat in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic that has been associated with so-called wet markets.

Scientists surmised that the coronavirus was transmitted to humans from animals. Some of the earliest infections were detected in people who were exposed to a wildlife market in the epicenter Wuhan where bats, civets, snakes, and other animals were sold.

The root of the illness has been detected in bat DNA, with researchers stating it possibly has been transmitted from there to an anteater called a pangolin, then jumped to people. The discovery initiated a declared ban on wildlife trade and consumption throughout China, as well as further restraint in the city of Shezhen.

The prohibition in Shezhen followed a move by Beijing to prohibit wildlife trade.

This action is ahead of an anticipated move later this year to bolster the national wildlife protection law.

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The city of Shenzhen in China is 1,100 kilometers away from the coronavirus epicenter of Wuhan. The coastal city is also located near the Hong Kong border.

According to Humane Society International (HSI), thirty million dogs yearly are killed across Asia for meat.

However, the practice of dog consumption in China is not that common as the majority of Chinese citizens have never done so and say they do not want to.

Last February, China passed a law to prohibit the consumption of wild animals.

Now, Shenzhen will ban the consumption of state-protected wild animals and other terrestrial wild animals that came from the wild, including captive-bred and farmed terrestrial wild species.

The legislation consists of an article that the consumption of "pet animals including dogs and cats is not allowed. Animals that are allowed to be consumed include pigs, sheep, cattle, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, ducks, pigeons, geese, quails, etc.

Wet markets are places where live animals are bought and butchered for meat. The understood idea is that these sites allow viruses to be transmitted between species in the cramped conditions before being transferred to humans.

The coronavirus disease has been contracted by over 935,000 people across the globe and has 47,000 fatalities.

According to the city government, "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."

They said this prohibition responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization.

The animal rights group AHS on Wednesday lauded the ban in Shezhen and implored the rest of the country to follow suit.

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