Amid coronavirus outbreak, China bans consumption of wild animals

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Mar 06, 2020, 02:53 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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The lethal virus, which has caused over 3,000 confirmed deaths and nearly 90,000 globally, is believed to have originated in a market in the central city of Wuhan, where a range of wildlife was reportedly sold.

In the wake of coronavirus epidemic, China banned the consumption of wild animals on Thursday under preventive measures to contain the deadly virus. It is believed that the virus was spawned in a market in Wuhan that sold wild animals including bats, snakes and pangolins as food.

However, so far there is no clarity on which animal transferred the virus to humans.

The latest ban comes a month after China restricted the trade of wild animals.

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Raising, transporting or selling all wild animal species is forbidden "from the date of the announcement until the national epidemic situation is over", the government had announced.

The lethal virus, which has caused over 3,000 confirmed deaths and nearly 90,000 globally, is believed to have originated in a market in the central city of Wuhan, where a range of wildlife was reportedly sold.

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Conservationists have long accused China of tolerating a shadowy trade in exotic animals for food or as ingredients in traditional medicines, including highly endangered species such as the pangolin or tiger.

A study by the Global Virome Project, a worldwide effort to increase preparedness for pandemics, estimated that there are nearly 1.7 million undiscovered viruses in the animal kingdom, nearly half of which could be harmful to humans.

China has launched previous crackdowns on the wildlife trade, including after SARS, but conservationists say the trade typically resumes over time.

(With inputs from agencies)


 

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