The Bangkok Post reports that the Chinese city of Shenzhen will ban the eating of dogs and cats as part of a wider clampdown on the wildlife trade since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.
Scientists suspect the coronavirus passed to humans from animals. Some of the earliest infections were found in people who visited a wildlife market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where bats, snakes, civet cats, and other animals were sold.
Authorities in Shenzhen said the ban on eating dogs and cats would start 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.
Dogs, in particular, are eaten in several parts of Asia.