(Yicai Global) March 6 -- China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, has banned the consumption of typically wild animals to prevent public health risks and safeguard the local ecology.
The ban extends to typically wild animals that are reared for eating, the Standing Committee of Hubei Provincial People's Congress said online. The central China province has also prohibited the consumption of precious and endangered aquatic species that are a high priority under conservation laws.
Many scientists believe that the novel coronavirus-caused pneumonia that broke out in Hubei's capital Wuhan late last year was the result of wild animal consumption, which has led to China taking a tougher stance against the practice.
Organizations and individuals must not hunt, breed, trade or transport such animals or related products with the aim of eating them, or processing them for a food business, according to the statement. The provincial government and other local authorities will punish those that break the rule by marking their file in the social credit database.
Editor: James Boynton