China bans the trade of wild animals in an attempt to contain the spread of Coronavirus. The Chinese government has said they will severely punish people who violate the imposed ban. According to the text of the announcement no wildlife can be transported or sold in any markets or online. Violators will be sent to security services, and their properties will be closed. Legal breeding centres will be quarantined.
This ban has happened because it is widely believed that the deadly Coronavirus originated in what is known as a ‘wet market’, which is a market place where live animals are slaughtered and sold and kept in close proximity to live animals and humans with little or no regard for hygiene. There are also no restrictions on what is sold in these markets, live cats and dogs, turtles, snakes, rats, hedgehogs and bats among many other animals. Back in 2003 during the SARS outbreak the virus was traced back to a civet cat which is a wild animal considered a delicacy in south china. It is not certain but many are blaming the coronavirus on a particular bat. The bat is commonly sold in markets such as the one in Wuhan where the virus originated.
Ban is only temporary
So far the ban is officially only temporary and may ease after the coronavirus outbreak has been contained. There is a growing number of experts and organizations calling for a permanent ban. China has already banned the trade of endangered species such as elephants and rhinos. But there are many unprotected species that can be found in markets across china.
Public opinion is slowly changing in china when it comes to the trade and consumption of wild animals. A recent study with nearly 100,000 participants showed that 97% of them disagreed with wild animal consumption. And apparently in chins Social media is full of posts condemning the refusal to shut down the wildlife markets until now.
Hopefully this is a huge wake up call for china, and they make the ban permanent. This would not only save human lives in the future but also save countless numbers of wild animals. Many of which have been hunted to the verge of extinction. Many species will have been hunted to extinction over the centuries in china. The culture needs to change from viewing rare animals as delicacies to be eaten to one of respecting the nature of wild china.
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