In reaction to the announcement that China will ban the eating of wild animals and crack down on the illegal wildlife trade in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Ginette Hemley, senior vice president for wildlife conservation:
“WWF welcomes China’s decision as a critical step toward eliminating threats to human health posed by the illegal wildlife trade and securing a future for species threatened by illegal trade for meat, medicinal use and luxury items. Such bans, when strongly enforced, are critical for combating wildlife crime and the risky consumption of wild animals.
“The COVID-19 crisis highlights the public health risk of allowing illegal and unregulated wildlife markets to flourish. We hope that China’s decision sets a strong example for other countries with unregulated live wildlife markets and illegal wildlife trade.”