China’s top legislature has said it will immediately ban the trade and consumption of wild animals, in a bid to help the country win the battle against the Coronavirus.
The announcement, made late on Monday according to the official Xinhua News Agency, comes after an initial suspension of the trade and consumption of wildlife in January.
Scientists suspect, but have not proven, that the new coronavirus passed to humans from animals. The disease has now killed almost 2,700 people in China and spread to countries around the globe.
Some of the earliest infections were found in people who had exposure to a wildlife market in Hubei’s provincial capital Wuhan, where bats, snakes, civets and other animals were sold.
Many academics, environmentalists and residents in China have joined international conservation groups in calling for a permanent ban. Online debate within China has also heavily favored a permanent ban.