The Administrative authorities governing Wuhan, location zero of the global Covid-19 pandemic, have officially banned the consumption of all wild animals earlier today.
The City administration announced that in addition to the consumption ban Wuhan would be a wildlife sanctuary, while all hunting of wild animals will be banned, unless required for scientific research, population control or disease monitoring. As part of this new law, the city introduced strict controls on the breeding of all wild animals for food. Whuan is also joining a nationwide scheme of offering buyouts and support to farmers that farm wild animals for food.
Wuhan, a city housing 11m people in the Hubei province of China, saw the first cases of Covid-19 late last year. The origins of the disease are still unclear and under investigation but one of the suspected sources is the Huanan Seafood Whole Sale Market. Which included a section which provided consumers access to wild animals, including wolf pups, cicidas, scorpions and civets. China shut down the market in January.
Generally, researchers are agreeing to the most plausible explanation that there was a “zoonotic spillover” and the virus jumped species from animals to human.
China is already under global pressure to control its illegal wildlife trade after repeated instances of emergence of zoonotic diseases and the fact that the Chinese demand drives poaching globally.