Wuhan bans wildlife consumption for five years

Posted on 21 May 2020

Wuhan has officially announced a ban on the consumption of wildlife. It is the fourth Chinese city to do so, after Beijing, Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

The Chinese city of Wuhan was the first to record human cases of COVID-19. Unlike the other cities which have brought in permanent bans, the Wuhan ban will be in place for five years.

Dr Peter Li, Humane Society International’s China policy specialist, said: ‘Wuhan’s ban on wildlife consumption is extremely welcome as a clear recognition that the public health risk of zoonotic disease spread via the wildlife trade must be taken very seriously if we are to avoid another pandemic.

There will however be no less severe of a disease risk from wildlife consumption in five years’ time, so anything short of a permanent and comprehensive ban is still a risk too far. 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 dangerous wildlife trade.’

The Wuhan bans follows news earlier this week that wildlife farmers in several provinces in mainland China are being offered a buy-out to move away from breeding wild species for consumption, as part of the country’s crackdown on the wildlife trade.

Hunan and Jiangxi provinces are among those providing compensation to farmers for transition to alternative livelihoods such as growing fruit, vegetables, tea plants, or herbs for traditional Chinese medicine.

Hunan province will offer farmers compensation to the tune of 120 yuan per kilogram of cobra, king rattle snake or rat snake; 75 yuan per kilogram of bamboo rat; 630 yuan per porcupine; 600 yuan per civet cat; and 378 yuan and 2,457 yuan per wild goose and Chinese muntjac deer respectively.


Image credit: Unsplash

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