China BANS eating wild animals amid fears the practice sparked coronavirus outbreak

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Coronavirus Outbreak Sees China Ban Trade and Consumption of Wild Animals

The disease has now killed nearly 2,700 people in China and spread to countries around the globe.

China has banned people from selling, buying and eating wild animals amid the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus COVID-19, which has been linked to a wholesale food market in the central city of Wuhan, Hubei province.

The state media reported that the country's top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), met in Beijing and approved a draft decision on postponing the NPC's annual session due to Coronavirus.

Although China does have existing laws regarding wildlife protection and conservation, it's filled with loopholes as consuming wild animals and captive breeding was allowed for commercial purposes.

Health experts warn that transporting, butchering and consuming wild species poses a significant and growing public health risk by exposing humans to unsafe animal-borne pathogens.

"In this critical time of epidemic controls, it's necessary and urgent for NPC to make a special decision to ban the consumption of wild animal meat before revising the law", CCTV reported. The value of the larger wildlife farming industry is closer to $74 billion, according to a 2017 report by the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

According to state news agency IRNA, so far 14 deaths have occurred from the killer virus in Iran and infected a total of 49 people.

China's foreign trade faces challenges as small- and mid-size firms in its supply chains battle financing difficulties amid trade curbs, lack of raw materials and delayed payments during a coronavirus outbreak, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.

The coronavirus, named Covid-19, has claimed 2,592 lives and infected more than 77,000 across the country. He added that shuttering animal markets would just move the trade to the black market.

Previous temporary bans have been put in place, including after the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in 2002-03 and was also traced to wild animal consumption.

That is after the SARS virus seemingly originated in bats and later reached people through civets - a cat-like creature that reportedly continued to be offered for consumption at the Wuhan market. Meanwhile, their scaly pelts are often legally used in some traditional Chinese medicine.

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