Wuhan Bans Wild Animal Consumption

Pablo Tucker
May 22, 2020

A number of celebrities, including Courteney Cox, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ricky Gervais, have also called for a ban on the wildlife trade and the consumption of wild animals.

Wuhan, the original epicenter of the coronavirus, has become the latest Chinese city to ban the eating of wild animals.

It should be mentioned that after the SARS outbreak in China, Beijing implemented measures to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals, but these failed to halt the trade in such animals.

The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was shut on January 1 following a local spread of the virus, and is largely thought to be the source of the global outbreak. The virus is widely believed to have emerged from a wet market in the city, possibly jumping from bats to humans via an intermediary animal such as a pangolin.

World Health Organization and other nations including the USA and China have asked for an investigation into the origin of the virus and zero-in on an intermediary carrier.

Two central provinces have already prepared plans for the buyout program to help breeders to find a new job.

Wildlife farmers in Hunan and Jiangxi provinces are set to be compensated for switching to growing fruits, vegetables, tea plants or herbs. The five-year ban also prohibits the breeding of wild animals for food, according to the Independent.

After evaluating the stock of wildlife being bred for meat, authorities will offer pay-offs to the breeders.

Authorities will evaluate farms and inventories and offer a one-off payment of 120 yuan ($16) per kilogram of rat snake, king ratsnake and cobra, while a kilogram of bamboo rat will fetch 75 yuan. This is the first time that such a national plan has been pledged by the Chinese authorities in an attempt to curb exotic animal breeding.

HSI China policy specialist Peter Li said that similar plans should be rolled out across the country. "More than 750,000 pieces of information about wildlife trade were removed or blocked from major e-commerce platforms while 17,000 online stores or accounts were closed", Liang Aifu, an official with the State Administration for Market Regulation said. "There are three options proposed - release of animals into the wild in suitable and non-residential habitat; utilisation by other industries such as zoos, laboratory research, and traditional medicine; or mass culling".

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