COVID-19: Wuhan officially bans eating wild animals

Coronavirus impact Wuhan bans eating hunting of exotic animals

Authorities in Wuhan have announced a comprehensive ban on eating wild animals and the hunting and trading of wildlife, according to a statement by the city's municipal government.

The good news for people who are extremely concerned over the eating habits of China and animal lovers who had been mounting pressure on China to stop the illegal wildlife trade which is blamed by many for the coronavirus pandemic.

Wuhan has been facing criticism from worldwide leaders, mostly from the US, for the research on bat Coronaviruses on city laboratories from where the virus has allegedly escaped before infecting millions of people in the world.

The wet markets had been banned back in March, but evidence came out that they were continuing to operate.

Per the Independent, farmers in Hunan are being offered specific monetary compensation for different animals, including $88 per porcupine, $84 per civet cat and $345 per muntjac deer or wild goose, among other animals.

Officials noted that the local administration is planning to buy out wild animal breeders.

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Further research found the pathogen in a seafood market and sale of different live species in Wuhan and found that it is 90 percent similar to that found in bats in the Zhejiang province.

Two of China's central provinces-Jiangxi and Hunan have outlined details of a buyout programme to help farmers switch to alternative livelihoods.

Wildlife farmers in Hunan and Jiangxi provinces are set to be compensated for switching to growing fruits, vegetables, tea plants or herbs. A kilogram of rat snake or cobra is worth about $16 (R282). The province has more than 2,300 licenced breeders who mostly rear animals for food.

"The largest proportion of China's wildlife farming is the fur industry, worth 389 billion yuan ($55 billion) annually", the society said.

Peter Li, a policy specialist for HSI told AFP that the measures should be implemented countrywide.

On Feb. 24, 2020 the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress banned wild animal consumption for food.

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