Tuesday, 02 June, 2020

Wuhan Has Officially Banned Eating Wild Animals

Provinces in China offer breeders money to quit wildlife trading Wuhan, center of coronavirus pandemic, bans eating wild animals
Sandy Nunez | 24 May, 2020, 00:32

Some experts fear that banning the trade and consumption of wildlife isn't enough to stop the coronavirus pandemic, since a black market is likely to emerge and cater to the demand for exotic animals that some people in China consider delicacies, such as bats and pangolins.

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.

Before it was shuttered in January, merchants at Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market sold and slaughtered beavers, porcupines, and baby crocodiles, National Geographic reported.

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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.