Apr 12, 2020 - World

China encourages wild animal exports despite internal coronavirus ban

Chinese authorities are now offering a 9% rebate on the export of animal products, such as edible snakes and turtles, primate meat, beaver and civet musk, and rhino horns, despite banning their domestic trade, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Encouraging wild animal sales abroad "could spread the risk to global markets," according to a Congressional Research Service report cited by the WSJ.

China’s National People’s Congress in February banned the sale and consumption of wild animals in the country.

  • "The prominent problem of recklessly eating wild animals and its potential risk to public health have aroused wide public concern,” a spokesperson said at the time, according to WSJ.
  • WSJ: "Although health authorities have yet to identify the precise cause of the [coronavirus] outbreak, a study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, based on patient samples, found a 96% genetic match with a bat coronavirus. Another Chinese study suggested snakes sold in a Wuhan market were the source."

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