Local authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan announced a ban on the hunting, breeding, trade, sale, and consumption of wild animals.
Wuhan government published a note on its website saying: “It is prohibited to artificially breed terrestrial wild animals and rare and endangered aquatic wild animals under national key protection for the purpose of eating.”
Wuhan is the epicentre of COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists believe that the novel coronavirus originated in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market - so-called “wet” market where animals are kept and slaughtered for food. The virus that infected over five million people and killed over 300,000 people around the world probably transmitted to humans from pangolins, civets or bats.
The announcement points out that the officials will “actively carry out wildlife protection and public health safety publicity and education, eliminate the abuse of wild animals, promote a civilised and healthy, green and environmentally friendly lifestyle, and create a good atmosphere for people and nature to live in harmony.”
Wuhan declares that “the administrative area of the whole city is a wildlife sanctuary,” where hunting and killing animals is strictly forbidden from now on.
The city will also join a national program offering buyouts to farmers who breed wild animals. The project attempt to end a £60 billion animal trade industry that employed over 14 million people.
So far, three other cities in China - Beijing, Shenzhen, Zhuhai have banned the consumption of wild animals, dogs and cats.