CHINA and Vietnam are finally banning the wild animal trade after the coronavirus spread across the world killing thousands of people.
The killer virus started in a wet market in Wuhan selling live animals – with calls for the country to stop the consumption of endangered and live animals.
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And China has now imposed a ban on farming and consumption of “terrestrial wildlife of important ecological, scientific and social value” expected to be made into law later this year, the New York Post reports.
Vietnam is now also looking to stop the trade of at-risk animals to eat after receiving an open letter from conservationists.
Both countries have been blamed for soaring death rates for endangered animals such as rhinoceros, pangolin and elephants.
The letter — signed by the head of Pan Nature, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Animals Asia Foundation, TRAFFIC, Save Vietnam Wildlife, and Wildlife Conservation Society stated: “Limiting interaction between wildlife and humans through strong enforcement against illegal wildlife trade and wildlife markets is the most effective approach to mitigating future risk associated with transmission of disease between animals and humans.
“As the source of this particular outbreak, China has already made some major steps to mitigate future risk in relation to zoonotic disease outbreaks from contact between wildlife and humans by temporarily closing all wildlife markets.
“This is in recognition of the serious threat faced. In order to ensure national safety, economic security and the health of the public and Vietnam’s precious ecosystems, we request the Vietnamese government to take strong and sustainable actions to halt all illegal wildlife trade and consumption in Vietnam.”
It comes after wet markets selling animals butchered in front of shoppers are still open across Asia despite being blamed for starting the coronavirus outbreak.
Experts warn these horrific sites are a “ticking time bomb” and could lead to a new disease much like COVID-19.
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It is believed that coronavirus jumped from animals to humans at a so-called wet market in Wuhan, China, which sold bats and reptiles.
Another coronavirus named SARS was also linked to a similar market in southern China and led to the deaths of hundreds in 2002 and 2003.
Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia and Laos all have a culture of selling exotic animals, dead and alive, for meat at wet markets.
Many of the sellers use a single blade to butcher a whole host of of creatures – from dogs, bats, snakes and turtles.
The trade globally is estimated to be worth £58bn a year.
A police officer stands guard outside of Huanan Seafood Wholesale market where coronavirus startedCredit: AFP – GettyCoronavirus fury as wet markets STILL selling wildlife to eat despite ‘sparking deadly pandemic’