Wildlife farmers in China are being offered a government buy-out in order to move away from breeding wild animals for consumption.
Experts in China said in January that the virus had likely jumped on to humans from wild animals sold as food at a wet market in the city of 11 million. Wuhan did exempt government-sanctioned hunting for the purposes of scientific research, epidemic disease monitoring, and for regulating wildlife populations.
Officials said that rearing wild animals for the goal of eating them was also banned and announced it would participate in nationwide efforts to buy out these breeders. Selling wild animals and breeding them for meals has been banned as effectively.
China has reported over 82,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 4,600 deaths, while the global death toll has surpassed 326,000 and the infections have crossed 4.9 million.
Wildlife farmers in Hunan and Jiangxi provinces are set to be compensated for switching to growing fruits, vegetables, tea plants or herbs. As part of the Chinese government's initiative to address its wild animal markets, farmers will also be paid to cease breeding exotic animals for consumption as a way to curb the exotic "wet market". A civet cat, the wild animal believes to have carried SARS to humans in another outbreak nearly two decades ago, will fetch 600 yuan.
A moist market in Wuhan, the place stay animals are bought for meals, has been extensively thought to be floor zero for the lethal pandemic that has killed over 325,000 individuals worldwide.
From now on, there will be a ban on protected specimens, those that grow in wild areas and also those raised on farms for subsequent sale.
Selling wild animals for human consumption was banned in China when the outbreak began spreading throughout the world, but the trade is still legal for certain things like traditional medicine and research. In the province of Guangxi, snake breeders are already repurposing their animals for the medicine and beauty industries.