Coronavirus could save animals from illegal trade

Coronavirus Could Save Wild Animals from Illegal Trade
The coronavirus outbreak could be a lifesaver for some species of wild animals that are consumed in China.

The scientific community is still debating the possible origin of the coronavirus outbreak in China, some suggesting that it was at a seafood market in the city of Wuhan, a place known for the illegal trade in wild animals such as snakes, raccoons and porcupines sold as food or medicine.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) officials, it is very likely that the main source of the coronavirus is bats, but this is not yet certain, as it is believed that the virus jumped to another animal, which has not yet been identified, before infecting humans.

For many years it has been known that this Asian country is the world’s largest consumer of wild animal products, both legal and illegal, and its great appetite for these delicacies or traditional medicine has put different species in danger of extinction.

According to the BBC, several restaurants in China serve dishes such as bat soup, food made from tiger testicles, stewed bear’s paws, and they even sell the raw meat.

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, authorities have put the spotlight on the wildlife trade, which had already been criticized by wildlife conservationists for pushing several species to the brink of extinction.

Although they have already banned this type of trade to combat the spread of the virus, environmentalists are taking the opportunity to demand a permanent ban, which could be beneficial for several endangered species.

The Yucatan Times
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