As Some China Wet Markets Continue to Reopen, One City Bans Animals Meat Trade

  • 2 years   ago

China's 'wet markets' like the one where Covid-19 outbreak began have reopened

Wuhan's wet market, where live animals are sold, slaughtered and skinned, in squalid conditions, was said to be at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wet markets where live animals are sold, slaughtered and skinned, as customers browse the stalls, have reopened across China.

Terrifying scenes of animal cruelty are being recorded throughout the Asian country as it returns to normality following the lockdown.

The Wuhan wet market, has been widely blamed as the source of the virus, which has killed thousands of people across the world, and will continue to take the lives of many more.

A pangolin infected by bats is widely believed to be the source of the outbreak.

Previous killer diseases SARS and bird flu were traced to similar sites and China has now banned the sale and consumption of wildlife to “safeguard public health and ecological security”, under orders from President Xi Jinping.

Yet multiple species are still being crammed together, slaughtered and sold in filthy conditions, contaminated with blood and faeces, at countless markets in other Asian countries.

Experts believe Asia’s wildlife markets, where live animals are flogged as exotic pets or butchered for food, are a “ticking time bomb” for new deadly pandemics.

China had banned their wet markets, but that ban has now been lifted, with experts worried this could create huge problems going forward.

Speaking before the Chinese markets reopened Steve Galster founder of Freeland, a Bangkok-based anti-trafficking group warned: “Wuhan is a major wake-up call – mother nature’s revenge.

"The way to prevent further outbreaks is to stop the trade. China has put in place a ban, but this needs to be permanent as it is the biggest importer of wildlife in the world.

“Most wildlife is trafficked by gangsters. This is not a regulated trade, so no wonder there are infections and viruses spreading.

“HIV, SARS and bird flu all came from animals and now this one too. These markets are ticking time bombs."

In the markets stall holders are notorious for the cruelty they inflict on monkeys, cats and dogs, which are slaughtered in front of buyers.

They sell bats, commonly made into a curried stew, as a traditional “cure” for respiratory diseases.

Skewered rats grilled on barbecues are also available to buy, alongside snakes and lizards.

Meanwhile... In Shenzhen... Dog and cat meat trade is banned amid coronavirus crisis

Shenzhen has passed a law prohibiting the consumption and production of dog and cat flesh, with the city's government pointing to the close relationship that has developed between humans and these animals

A Chinese city has banned the dog and cat meat trade amid the coronavirus crisis.

Shenzhen passed the law prohibiting the consumption and production of dog and cat flesh.

The city went further than the Government's temporary closure of 'wet markets', where animals are sold, by permanently stopping the brutal trade.

The Covid-19 outbreak is believed to have started at the a 'wet market' in Wuhan, China.

The law is set to come into effect on May 1, the Daily Star reports.

A spokesman for the city's government said: "Dogs and cats as pets have established a much closer relationship with humans than all other animals, and banning the consumption of dogs and cats and other pets is a common practice in developed countries and in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

An estimated 10 million dogs are killed for meat every year in China 

"This ban also responds to the demand and spirit of human civilization."

The legislation also clarifies with species are permitted to be consumed, including pig, cattle, sheep, rabbit, and chicken.

Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist for animal protection charity Humane Society International, welcomed the news.

He said: “With Shenzhen taking the historic decision to become mainland China’s first city to ban dog and cat meat consumption, this really could be a watershed moment in efforts to end this brutal trade that kills an estimated 10 million dogs and 4 million cats in China every year.

The majority of these companion animals are stolen from people’s back yards or snatched from the streets, and are spirited away on the backs of trucks to be beaten to death in slaughterhouses and restaurants across China.

"Shenzhen is China’s fifth-largest city so although the dog meat trade is fairly small there compared with the rest of the province, its true significance is that it could inspire a domino effect with other cities following suit."

Dr Teresa M. Telecky, vice president of the wildlife department for Humane Society International, added: “Shenzhen is the first city in the world to take the lessons learned from this pandemic seriously and make the changes needed to avoid another pandemic."

The Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan – believed by many to be the epicentre of the virus’ spread – was shut down in January after a cluster of patients came down with mystery pneumonia there.

Vendors sold a raft of animals including chickens, badgers, bamboo rats, hedgehogs, and snakes – often slaughtered in front of customers.

Researchers believe bats were the original host of the virus, and may have infected other animals sold at the market.

Source: Mirror UK