Wuhan officially bans eating and hunting of wild animals

  • Wuhan officially bans eating and hunting of wild animals

Wuhan officially bans eating and hunting of wild animals

Wuhan's local administration announced Wednesday that it has officially banned the eating of wild animals.

Declaring Wuhan "a wildlife sanctuary", hunting within the city will also be off limits with sanctions only for government approved hunting for "scientific research, population regulation, monitoring of epidemic diseases and other special circumstances".

"By subsidizing wildlife breeders to transition to alternative livelihoods, these provinces are demonstrating global leadership on this issue, which other provinces and countries must now follow", Peter Li, Humane Society International's China policy specialist, said. This move comes amid mounting pressure on China to crack down on illegal trade of wildlife.

There is now no evidence that supports the fact that the market caused the virus. The COVID-19 virus first appeared in Wuhan late a year ago and many linked its initial transmission to wild animal consumption, namely bats.

There are now almost five million confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. A civet cat, the wild animal believes to have carried SARS to humans in another outbreak nearly two decades ago, will fetch 600 yuan.

In January, China issued a temporary ban in the trade in wild animals, as it did during the Sars outbreak.

But some products associated with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) remain for sale, reflecting legal ambiguities and a strong demand for folk remedies.

Other so-called "wet markets" reopened after the citywide lockdown was lifted, according to ABC News.

A wildlife market in China's Hunan province.

According to the local press, the city authorities reviewed the laws and made a decision to halt the lucrative business, in line with a national ordinance issued a few months ago as a health protection measure.

"Wuhan becomes the fourth city in mainland China to show such leadership, but we now need cities and countries across the world to step up to the plate and shut down the risky wildlife trade".

"For the sake of people and animals, wildlife trade and consumption has to end, now", Gervais, a vegetarian and animal lover, told the Mirror.