Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Wuhan virus: China bans wildlife trade nationwide until viral outbreak eases

BEIJING (REUTERS, AFP) – China on Sunday (Jan 26) ordered a temporary ban on the trade in wild animals as the country struggles to contain a deadly virus believed to have been spawned in a market that sold wild animals as food.

Raising, transporting or selling all wild animal species is forbidden “from the date of the announcement until the national epidemic situation is over,” said a joint directive from the country’s market watchdog, agricultural ministry, and forestry bureau said in a joint statement.

Any places that breed wildlife should be isolated, and the transportation of wildlife should be banned, said the statement.

The ban will take effect from Sunday (Jan 26).

The virus which has infected more than 2,000 people globally and killed 56 people in China has been traced to a seafood market in Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife.

Wild and often poached animals packed together in Chinese markets have been blamed as incubators for viruses to evolve and jump the species barrier to humans.

Snakes, peacocks, crocodiles and other species can also be found for sale via Taobao, an e-commerce website run by Alibaba.

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