Over four months after the first cases of COVID-19 surfaced in China, the world remains in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 1.5 million confirmed cases and almost 89,000 deaths as of April 9. The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is believed to have originated in bats and jumped to humans, most likely at a wet market in China’s Hubei province where wild animals were being sold. A move to amend wildlife laws to prevent future outbreaks is now gaining momentum in the country.
The Chinese ban on consumption of wild animals is likely to become permanent in the coming months, according to Aili Kang, Executive Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Asia Program. This means it would be enshrined in the country’s wildlife legislation. A decision taken by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Feb. 24 will serve as the basis for amendments to existing wildlife laws.