Wuhan bans eating wild animals

Katie Ramirez
May 23, 2020

Beijing| The Chinese city of Wuhan, where novel coronavirus first emerged, has forbidden the eating of wild animals and Chinese farmers are being awarded cash to stop breeding exotic animals.

Several scientists, medical experts, and animal rights activists have increasingly called for a ban on China's wet markets where animals like bats, cats, dogs and pangolins are slaughtered and sold openly for human consumption.

The only exception for hunting would be for "scientific research, population regulation, monitoring of epidemic diseases and other special circumstances", the report said.

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.

Wildlife farmers in Hunan and Jiangxi provinces are set to be compensated for switching to growing fruits, vegetables, tea plants or herbs. Farmers will still be able to work with wild animals for traditional Chinese medicine, the fur industry, or entertainment purposes.

The transfer comes shortly after at the least 4 Chinese language provinces, together with Hubei, mulled plans to purchase out farms that breed wild animals for meals, in addition to proposing different help schemes for individuals residing off the wildlife commerce.

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According to the Independent, researchers believe the virus likely passed from animals to humans "in a "zoonotic spillover" event".

Jiangxi province has also released similar plans.

There will also be prohibitions on breeding terrestrial and aquatic wild animals for eating and bans on illegal wildlife trading, both in markets and online. The province has more than 2,300 licensed breeders of exotic animals, according to state-run paper Jiangxi Daily, generating about $225 million (about R3 billion) in sales in 2018.

"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", Li told AFIP said.

This is not the first time such measures have been undertaken.

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