Wuhan Announces Drastic Changes to Its Wet Markets

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Posted: May 20, 2020 9:15 PM

The city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday announced changes to their wet market policy. The city has banned people from eating wild animals, part of a larger effort to get farmers to quit breeding exotic animals for human consumption, CBS News reported.

Political leaders in Wuhan also banned almost all hunting of wild animals within city limits. They have labeled themselves a "wildlife sanctuary." The only exception is for government-approved hunting used specifically for "scientific research, population regulation, monitoring of epidemic diseases and other special circumstances."

From CBS News:

Wuhan also imposed strict new controls on the breeding of all wild animals, making it clear that none could be reared as food. City officials said the local administration would take part in the wider national scheme to buy wild animal breeders out.

The national plan is the first time Chinese authorities have pledged to buy out breeders in an attempt to curb exotic animal breeding, animal rights activists say.

The change comes as China faces growing pressure to eliminate wet markets that, at one time, were believed to be the source of the Wuhan coronavirus. Multiple government agencies in various countries have recently concluded that the virus actually started inside a lab in Wuhan and was accidentally released. 

As of now, there are more than five million reported cases of the virus. The death toll as a result of the virus sits at 329,294. 

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