CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (THE DAVINCI) — Activists are calling for a permanent ban on the Chinese wild animal market, thought to be the source of the 2020 coronavirus outbreak.
China introduced a temporary ban on the market after the outbreak, and wildlife organizations are calling for an end to all black market animal trade. The 2020 coronavirus originated in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, where wild animals were sold. In these markets, blood often remains on the floor, causing diseases to travel to humans. To date, around 1,150 people have been killed by the virus.
The temporary ban came into effect on January 30, and covers a range of animals; from snakes to rare birds, bats, and turtles. It’s suspected that pangolins — a mammal that is poached for its scales, which some believe contain healing properties — are the source for the COVID-19 virus.
On February 3, President Xi Jinping said that “It is necessary to […] resolutely ban and severely crack down on illegal wildlife markets and trade.” It has been difficult to control these markets due to the demand for wild animals and their fins, scales and tusks. However, the threat of disease may prove the need for an all-out ban.