Tuesday, 02 June, 2020

Wuhan bans eating wild animals in wake of coronavirus pandemic

Wuhan bans the eating of wild animals The city has declared itself a Wuhan bans the eating of wild animals The city has declared itself a"wildlife sanctuary by Alex Linder
Sandy Nunez | 22 May, 2020, 02:24

"It is prohibited to artificially breed terrestrial wild animals and rare and endangered aquatic wild animals under national key protection for the objective of eating", a notice on the Wuhan government website reads. Experts also say it's possible that another animal host⁠-such as a pangolin⁠-helped the virus make the leap to humans.

The announcement comes amid mounting pressure for China to put an end to its wildlife trade.

The city also banned the vast majority of wild animal hunting and declared itself "a wildlife sanctuary", reports CBS News.

Now the city has imposed stricter new controls on the breeding of all wild animals which are used to be on the usual menu of city residents.

A moist market in Wuhan, the place stay animals are bought for meals, has been extensively thought to be floor zero for the lethal pandemic that has killed over 325,000 individuals worldwide.

There are now almost five million confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world.

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Though it hasn't been confirmed, one of the suspected sources of the virus is the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which had a live animal section reportedly selling everything from live wolf pups to scorpions.

It should be mentioned that after the SARS outbreak in China, Beijing implemented measures to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals, but these failed to halt the trade in such animals. However, it still allowed the wildlife trade to persist for other purposes like research and traditional medicine use.

© Provided by CBS News A civet cat stall is closed at a wildlife market in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, January 5, 2004.

In a press briefing, World Health Organization food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek said live animal markets are critical to providing food and livelihoods for millions of people globally and that authorities should focus on improving them rather than outlawing them - even though they can sometimes spark epidemics in humans. In addition to providing affordable food to local communities, wet markets also provide a livelihood for locals.

Wuhan China, the city of 11 million people where scientists now believe the coronavirus first began, has just announced it is banning the consumption of wild animal species for the next five years. But wildlife consumption is not the biggest industry in the country.

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