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Responding to the call of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Political Bureau, one ministry after another has taken actions to curb the illegal trade in wildlife, so as to tighten the control on a major public health risk.|
That comes after the novel coronavirus epidemic was traced back to a seafood market where wild animals were being sold and eaten. It is now believed that the novel coronavirus was transferred to humans from pangolins having originated in bats, and that the people who sold and bought the animals illegally were the first to be infected.
Many people do not know that the danger lies not only in eating wild animals, but also in touching them. According to research, it is contact with the bodily fluids of wild animals that makes people infected. In the illegal wildlife interest chain, those who hunt, slaughter, sell, and cook wild animals all face danger.
Besides the demand for wildlife for food, illegally capturing them for exhibition or as pets, cutting off the tusks of elephants and the horns of rhinoceros and the carving off them all pose risks to humans as in the whole process people might touch the bodily fluids of wild animals.
This time the novel coronavirus epidemic happened to break out in an underground wildlife market; we must stay alert to prevent another virus epidemic from breaking out in other underground wildlife businesses, too.
It should be noted that illegal wildlife businesses still exist. On Saturday, it was reported that the forest police in Pingguo county in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region cracked down on an illegal wildlife business and found as many as 250 frozen wild birds plus the bodies of other wild animals.
Police forces nationwide need to remain vigilant and be on the alert for clues about the illegal wildlife businesses, and the public should tip off the police about any illegal trade in wildlife or wildlife products.
Amid the novel coronavirus epidemic, China has imposed a sweeping ban on wildlife trade, which will remain in effect until the epidemic is eliminated. But here is the question: Should it be a temporary or permanent ban? It is time to take actions and outlaw the trade of wild animals for good.