Wuhan officially bans eating and hunting of wild animals

WION Web Team NEW DELHI May 21, 2020, 01.37 PM(IST)

This photo taken on March 16, 2020 shows community volunteers distributing foods ordered by residents in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province. China reported on March 17 just one new domestic coronavirus infection but found 20 more cases imported from abroad, threatening to spoil its progress against the disease. Photograph:( AFP )

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It remains unclear how the industry will be affected by new legislation, with parliament promising at least a stronger approval and supervision regime.

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.

"There will be a ban on the sale and eating of terrestrial wild animals that are both in the wild as well as bred and reared," 

According to the Human Society International (HSI), the wildlife consumption trade in China is “worth 125 billion yuan, roughly $18 billion.” But wildlife consumption is not the biggest industry in the country.

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

It remains unclear how the industry will be affected by new legislation, with parliament promising at least a stronger approval and supervision regime.

"It will be important for TCM experts, wildlife conservation experts, and relevant authorities to take a look at TCM-related laws and regulations to make sure they are consistent," said Aili Kang, executive director of the Asia Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

"To strictly forbid the use of endangered species, no matter wild or captive breeding population... is good for both TCM and conservation," she added.

(WIth inputs from Reuters)