Beijing: Wuhan, the city which is the epicentre of the coronavirus crisis, has banned the eating of wild animals. As an effect, Chinese farmers are being offered cash to quit breeding exotic animals.
The move comes after the mounting pressure for China to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade blamed by many countries for the pandemic that has killed more than 3,20,000 people across the world.
The local administration in Wuhan, the city of about 11 million people in China's central Hubei province where cases of the new coronavirus were first recorded late last year, announced on Wednesday that the eating of all wild animals was officially 'banned'.
Hunting of wild animals within the city's limits were also banned, declaring Wuhan "a wildlife sanctuary". However, there is an exception, hunting for with "scientific research, population regulation, monitoring of epidemic diseases and other special circumstances" are allowed.
Wuhan also imposed strict new controls on the breeding of all wild animals, making it clear that none could be reared as food, according to CBS
The national plan is the first time Chinese authorities have pledged to buy out breeders in an attempt to curb exotic animal breeding, animal rights activists say.