Published: Thu, February 27, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

China bans wildlife trade, consumption

China bans wildlife trade, consumption

In the wake of the disease known as COVID-19, which has been linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan and has led to 2,801 deaths as of February 27, the decision stressed that the ban covers both terrestrial animals that come from the wilderness and wild animals that are farmed by people. At the same time, China decided on Monday to postpone its annual session of Parliament starting from March 5 due to the deadly corona virus.

China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed a resolution Monday banning the "illegal wildlife trade, abolishing the bad habit of overconsumption of wildlife, and effectively protect the lives and health of the people", AFP reported, citing state media.

Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said on Monday that under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, there has been much positive progress in epidemic prevention and control work.

This will allow efforts to be concentrated on epidemic control and put people's lives and health at the top of priority, Shen said.

The wildlife trade is even estimated to be a multibillion dollar industry. But much of China has ground to a halt in the battle against an outbreak that has infected almost 80,000 people and claimed more than 2,500 lives.

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This is after the SARS virus likely originated in bats and later reached humans via civets - a cat-like creature that reportedly continued to be sold for consumption at the Wuhan market. PM Giuseppe Conte has said the lockdown could last weeks. It said that the hunting, trading and transportation of terrestrial wild animals that naturally grow and breed in the wild for the sole objective of consumption is now "completely prohibited".

"But amending the Wild Animal Protection Law needs to go through legislative procedures".

Animals that have been farm-raised for a long time so as to have become widely accepted by the public, and that form value chains helpful in local poverty alleviation, such as pigeons and rabbits, are also excluded, Yang said.

This decision strictly spells out the use of wild animals for non-edible purposes, including scientific research, medical use and display, which is subject to strict examination, approval and quarantine inspection procedures in accordance with relevant regulations.

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