Lion, bat and pangolin off the menu as Chinese city of Wuhan bans consumption of wild animals

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Other species including bat and snake have also been banned as part of a national push to prevent the population from eating wildlife.

It is thought the sale and consumption of exotic meats in wet markets has spawned diseases. The first cases of coronavirus are thought to have come from a wet market in Wuhan, in the province of Hubei.

Scientists think the virus originated in bats and transferred to humans through another animal. This has shone a spotlight on the global market for exotic meats, the way they are procured, and hygiene around their sale and consumption.

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The market for wild animals is worth an estimated £60 million ($73 million) and provides work for as many as 14 million people.

Last month, when asked about wet markets in a television interview, Fauci said: “I think we should shut down those things right away. It boggles my mind how when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we don’t just shut it down.

“I don’t know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that.”

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