China proposed major legislative changes to abolish wildlife consumption and trade, to prevent viral outbreaks like the ongoing coronavirus epidemic in the country.
Consumption of wild animals as food and captive breeding would be totally prohibited, announced the National People’s Congress. Hunting, trading, or transporting of wild animals shall also be banned to prevent animal-to-human transmission of diseases.
The stern action comes after a series of studies linked the origin of COVID-19 to a local seafood market in Wuhan City, in central China’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the epidemic.
The ban would result in a loss of around seven billion dollars, affecting employment of more than one million people. Legislative changes to curb the trade were also proposed after the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS pandemic in 2003, linked to the consumption of civet cats.