Here we document 47,381 individuals from 38 species, including 31 protected species sold between May 2017 and November 2019 in Wuhan’s markets.
We note that no pangolins (or bats) were traded, supporting reformed opinion that pangolins were not likely the spillover host at the source of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While we caution against the misattribution of COVID-19’s origins, the wild animals on sale in Wuhan suffered poor welfare and hygiene conditions and we detail a range of other zoonotic infections they can potentially vector.
Nevertheless, in a precautionary response to COVID-19, China’s Ministries temporarily banned all wildlife trade on 26th Jan 2020 until the COVID-19 pandemic concludes, and permanently banned eating and trading terrestrial wild (non-livestock) animals for food on 24th Feb 2020.
These interventions, intended to protect human health, redress previous trading and enforcement inconsistencies, and will have collateral benefits for global biodiversity conservation and animal welfare.
Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 7;11(1):11898.doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91470-2.
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1Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation (Ministry of Education), China West Normal University, Nanchong, 637009, People’s Republic of China.
2Lab Animal Research Center, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.
3Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, The Recanati-Kaplan Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
4Cook’s Lake Farming, Forestry and Wildlife Inc. (Ecological Consultancy), Queens County, NS, Canada.
5Department of Biology, The University of British Columbia/ Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
6Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation (Ministry of Education), China West Normal University, Nanchong, 637009, People’s Republic of China. firstname.lastname@example.org.
7Key Laboratory of Environmental Science and Biodiversity Conservation (Sichuan Province), China West Normal University, Nanchong, People’s Republic of China. email@example.com.