On Wednesday, authorities in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in Hubei and the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, announced eating wild animals would be banned, according to CBS News. Selling wild animals and breeding them for meals has been banned as effectively.
"On 3 January 2020, China began sending regular, timely updates about the novel coronavirus to World Health Organization, other countries, including the United States, and China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions".
A compensation scheme was released by Hunan on Friday suggesting that farmers make herbal medicines and tea or care for other livestock. A civet cat, the wild animal believes to have carried SARS to humans in another outbreak nearly two decades ago, will fetch 600 yuan.
Chinese authorities have chose to offer a one-off payment of 120 yuan ($16) per kilogram of rat snake, king rat snake and cobra, while a kilogram of the bamboo rat will be 75 yuan. In the province of Guangxi, snake breeders are already repurposing their animals for the medicine and beauty industries.
"As part of the buy-out plans in Hunan and Jiangxi provinces, the fate of the wildlife stock is also a welfare issue of concern", said HSI.
Eating wild animals, as well as hunting them within city limits, has officially been prohibited, with the city in China's Hubei province declaring itself a "wildlife sanctuary".
"In the past 20 years, a lot of people have been telling the Chinese government to buy out certain wildlife breeding operations - for example bear farming", he said.
This is not the first time such measures have been undertaken.