Coronavirus offers more proof why China needs to shut down live wild animal markets for good
The Chinese wildlife trade is mired in long-held beliefs about the benefits of eating exotic and often endangered animals for good health. But the reality stands in stark contrast. The markets in China where live wild animals, including endangered species like pangolins, are bought and sold have often acted as petri dishes for the germination and spread of deadly diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the deadly bird flu, with each outbreak claiming hundreds of human victims.
Now, once again, China’s wildlife markets have spawned another global public health crisis with the deadly coronavirus, a pneumonia-like illness that has so far claimed nearly 80 human lives and sickened at least 2,700 more, providing more evidence than ever why the country needs to shut down its wildlife markets for good.
The threat has spread to several other nations outside China, including the United States, where five cases of the illness have been confirmed.
Reports coming out of China describe a nation in panic, its people angry over the government’s failure to act decisively to address the public health dimensions of the crisis. But it has also generated criticisms of the nation’s guarded efforts to end the wildlife trade despite the many deadly precedents of past scares.
“Chinese society is boiling with anger at wildlife policy failures,” says Humane Society International’s China policy specialist, Peter Li. “Social media is full of posts condemning the refusal to shut down the wildlife markets. This is the worst Chinese New Year in China’s recent history.”
Nearly two weeks after the world heard of this new coronavirus, China took a decisive step by announcing a temporary ban on all wildlife markets, as well as wildlife transport and online wildlife trade, in the interests of its citizens’ health and safety, and in the interests of safeguarding public health worldwide. According to the Washington Post, in a commentary published Friday, state China Central Television condemned the consumption of wild animals and called the new coronavirus a “game meat virus.” It also took to task those “who love to eat, poach, and trade wild animals.”
But censure and temporary bans are not enough; China needs to act firmly to end all wildlife markets for good, in the interests of its citizens’ health and safety, and in the interests of safeguarding public health worldwide. Part of this involves educating people about the dangers of consuming wild animals.
China needs to act firmly to end all wildlife markets for good, in the interests of its citizens’ health and safety, and in the interests of safeguarding public health worldwide.
The virus is said to have originated at the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in the city of Wuhan, where vendors were selling animals, including live cats and dogs, turtles, snakes, rats, hedgehogs and marmots. Menus and signboards posted online also listed foxes, wolf cubs, monkeys and masked palm civets, among other animals. These wildlife markets are filthy, crowded places where animals are displayed alive in small cages. Once purchased, they are often slaughtered on site, creating not just a human health hazard but also an animal welfare nightmare.
Many of the animals traded and killed at the markets are threatened with extinction. In fact, global wildlife experts say trade in live wild animals is one of the biggest threats to the survival of several species. And while China may be in the news right now, such trade is not limited to one country—it happens globally, and even right here, in the United States, where diseases like salmonellosis, food poisoning caused by bacteria, have spread to humans from pet reptiles.
The last time China made an effort to close down its wildlife markets was after the SARS outbreak some 17 years ago in 2003, although that effort ceased about six months later. HSI is supportive of the Chinese government making the wildlife trade ban a permanent policy. China has shown great resolve in recent years in ending the unnecessary exploitation of wildlife, most notably by cracking down on the ivory trade. We hope that this latest outbreak, and the havoc it has caused, will inspire the government to act just as decisively to end the country’s wildlife markets. For the people of China, and the world, an ounce of prevention, in this case, would certainly be worth much more than a pound of cure.
Ban it now
Yes, this disgusting practice has to end. Not only is it horrific for the animals, it threatens the world. Asians need to consider how the world thinks about them.
I agree it needs to stop but your use of “Asians” is not only a broad generalization but racist as well.
The tone is not racist and the issue concerns sentient animals and how they are killed. I have just witnessed a dog being held over a fire and screaming for its life & agony to stop whilst these vile humans laugh. I’m sorry but if you feel it’s racist then why are you on an animal rights social media. Your comment is completely missing exactly what is going on here. It is a mere trifle in comparison. Please do not divert attention away from this most pressing of issues which has to be dealt with IMMEDIATELY!! 👺👹
I feel hopeful that others are as concerned and disgusted by this predominately Asian practice. As Chinese become more wealthy the trend of destroying animal life around the globe will continue and so will the deadly consequences we are living now. People need to more vocal. We need to think twice as we purchase products from countries that are not committed to safeguarding the environment or promoting a healthy balance between man and nature. How shameful we are!
We can’t forget our own failure in the ethical treatment of animals as well. Corporate farming and the treatment of farm animals is a nightmare . Take the time to inform yourself on this be cause it will probably shock you.! Do these reflect on what a civilized society should exemplify? Hardly! . not to mention US and eastern EC puppy mills.
If this isn’t a time to reflect on our rapport with the natural world then there never will be. If we don’t turn this horrible reality into a dark episode of the past now, we never will. If we don’t look at the global tragedy this virus has brought to our lives now, we never will. Nature is revolting and it’s about time! Let’s not let it be too late
I don’t think it’s broad it’s very accurate and China has created this global pandemic because of their disgusting abuse of animals and filthy habits
I think that all the pandas in zoos should never be allowed back to China and zoological society’s should stop paying China to rent these animals they cannot do anything about it as they are in the countries of the world safe keeping lets hit them where it hurts in there economy
We think it is much better if they do not exist the world should take China to court for all the death they caused
Well said Nathalie!
Whoever allows and/or participates in such wickedness and deliberate cruelty towards animals deserves to catch Coronavirus and have an excruciating death . Natures revenge !
Humans who think they are kings of the earth and can treat animals in such an evil way can get a reality check that there is only one true ruler – Mother Nature- and she can wipe you out any time she wants !
Thank you for mentioning how HORRIFIC It is for animals. My heart just breaks for the CRUELTY these precious souls have to endure.🥺😥😩😰😭
What’s thank you so much for mentioning how HORRIFIC it is for the precious souls that suffer this CRUELTY🥺😥😩😰😭
All of you constantly talking about animals “tortured” and boiled/burned alive do realise that places in Southeast Asia, Korea, and even Western slaughterhouses are doing the same thing, right? Wikipedia has articles on these things, and you can also google ‘Belgium pigs boiled alive’, ‘Australia pigs boiled alive’, ‘chickens boiled alive’, ‘UK sheep beaten’ etc. for evidence in the West.
For instance, to all those below me being racist to Chinese for dogs “tortured”, “skinned”, “burned alive” here’s an article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_meat#By_region
It shows there’s very little evidence of those practices in China to this day, and that other countries like Vietnam, South Korea, & Indonesia are more deserving of this criticism.
Ofc, misinformation and bigotry is strong with some of the users here, so I doubt this will stop those from making usernames like ‘Ihatechinese’, or suggesting in comments that they deserve the virus or are worse than everyone else in the world.
That isn’t common practice in those countries and you know it. In China, it is. That isn’t to say regular slaughterhouses in the West are better, but at least actual laws require that they’re stunned and no one in the West thinks boiling/skinning an animal alive makes it taste better.
With all the technology we have at hand we still offer nothing but a cruel death to the animals most eat. Racism, evil human behaviour moved to the treatment of animal’s! About time the world focuses on those who torture animals and cut of trade and charitable funds from the western countries until they change their ways! Offer compassion to those who have none for those below themselves! Animals!
We are responsible for this abuse ,the huge consumer demand for the millions of tons of animals we eat ,how you expect the salutgher house to handle the pressure? If we eat meat just once a week this would not be happening,
What a fatuous ignorant comment- two wrongs don’t make a right. All animal cruelty is wrong. What is different about this is that it has also caused a global pandemic and has brought the worlds economy to its knees.
I agree Julie. Its March 31st now and I’m distraught to hear the meat markets are opening again and I’m’emailing prime ministers to try to make them act to deal with the cause of coronavirus.They’ve got the effects and rightly concerned about them but why will none of them act against China?The diseases will get worse every year and this is the end of life as we knew it.
Thank you Julie Brown. I totally agree how HORRIBLE THIS IS for these animals. It breaks my heart to no end. I feel so helpless. This is where this HORRIFIC virus started and is infecting the entire world. This has to stop now.
Completely agree, no animal should suffer, for our selfish needs.
I ageee 100%! SARS also started in an exotic animal market. Enough us enough!
It needs to stop but for the most part the people eating exotic animals are living in extreme poverty what fucking choice do they have living under a communist Regime
please stop eating wild animals including dog and cat meat trade! stop spreading all this virus cause!
This is inhumane cruel and it makes me so angry……i just cannot stand this crap anymore!
Agreed!!! It’s absolutley disgusting what these human beings put these poor animals through before they are killed and eaten….if not eaten alive!!!!
OMG! The agony. Stop the sadistic cruelty!
I read all genuine compassionate comments but all these lack empathy for those who look or avoid the existence of this reality. The path of trying to change this has not worked, we need to change in a way to help animals based on the mindset of those who dont link food to a living animal. Time to be subtle and make meat with a quick death method with a hidden outcome for the animals a moral choice for meat eaters. That will help animals quicker and lay a path for further change, then open the debate of all races and religions judged as equal mo matter and look into animal treatment in all of the country. I cant see how an halal killing of a animal death by a throat slit that takes minutes with pain as the blood flows is acceptable in 2020. Made sense back then without refrigeration but cant be linked to a faith since times have changed!
I can’t either Vicki.🥺😥😩😰😭
please implement animal rights!!
This sounds like an answer to a horrible action of the death of Wildlife!
Please stop this animal trade , it’s inhumain to these animals and causes many to become sick!!! it’s affects us here in the United States not just over there in your country, we are terrified. This I have to is really selfish if you want to ask me. It’s needs to stop!!!!
stop dog meat trade!!
We can make this happen!!!! Lord please end this animal cruelty once and for all, let’s be that voice! Let step up, sign, participation, donate if possible!!! We can do this we def can help make this movement happen!!! God bless to all
Ban the markets for the animals. They are sentient beings. Stop the carnage!
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If this pandemic doesn’t wake up China to the dangers of live wildlife markets, nothing will. Scientists have been warning for years that this would happen. Greed and gluttony indeed.
How does anyone in 2020 honestly believe that if you eat an exotic , wild animals’ flesh ….that you will change your dna and take on it’s characteristics !?!
Stop torturing these are poor wild life who is meant to be in the wild. And this goes for cats,dogs and all the tortured soul in China. Please introduce animal law protection and educate them how to treat animals with respect , kindness and empathy
Agree, nice words
The animals in the forest belong to the creator
Jennifer, yes! Just as we have tender fealings for our fluffy and precious kittens, the Lord has tender fealings for the wildlife animals, and all animals -and Jesus’ love is even more potent- and Jesus and all the angels are fed up with the wicked and evil abuse, and a stern hand of wrath will be upon mankind, and innocent people will succumb to it, sadly, because of all the evildoers who exude cruelty over the helpless creatures. I have found the willpower to stop eating meat altogether, I have seen how much feelings my cat has, and I now understand that all animals have real and true feelings, and they beling to Jesus!
If China will not enforce a permenant ban on eating domestic and wild animals then perhaps all the other goverments on the planet should do sanctions against China to show that the rest of the world does not want to be infected with these viruses plus its been cruel and inhumane for long enough now what they do to these animals.
I agree about sanctions. Also, stop buying Chinese goods overall.
I agree one hundred percent ,show how it hurts to be risponsiblresponsible the animals and humans,POEPLE are dying all over the world because of them
I agree put sanctions against China so they can stop selling wildlife for food and medicine. Close the markets down for good
Yes – boycott – hit where it hurts $$$$$
The Creator is sending a message with coronavirus, and good people must take a stand against animal abuse.
I agree all countries should sanction china and the other countries who do this to animals, there mentality is not normal. and we should stop buy things made in china, and boris should not use them for g5
I have never wanted to visit China for the simple reason I would be devastated to see these beautiful animals in cages sitting in filthy markets and slaughtered on site. For the life of me I cannot fathom how anyone with a conscience could be involved with this trade.
Man you are so right I could never be able to go see how and what they do to all the animals they cage and treat terrible. I’m not sure what I would do.
Yes – going to China is an assault on every animal lover’s heart. Everywhere you turn there are heads, feet and tails of beautiful animals not to mention live ones in awful cages and living conditions. The only animals they treat well there are the panda bears, but that is because an international community is taking care of them and they are big $ makers when they are alive and well. I went there once and that was enough for me.
The China need to stop eating dog,cat,wild animals but doing same in the oceans two.Anything in ocean’s or in forests live they kill and eat
Let the world put its foot down on wildlife markets in China. PRESSURE them to stop this most insane practice. Time is NOW to save the beautiful pangolins.
Ya no mas al tráfico de animalitos es muy importante que esto termine para evitar sufrimiento y crueldad y más contagios
Why would it even come to this? We have talked and signed petitions, written different articles and opposed to China Wild Animals trade but why have not listened. So now see the results.
China is above the law, but not God’s law, and there will be a reckoning.
China needs to shutdown wildlife markets for good.
China needs Human-welfare laws & Animal-welfare laws – first and foremost. Chinese government must implement drastic measures to ensure these efforts for their citizens and animals ….. international pressure from countries, including USA, is needed to move China forward in this huge endeavor.
For all of China’s medical and technological advances it makes no sense how they are stuck in the “dark” ages of superstitious and mythical folklore based beliefs. Do they not understand “placebo effect”! I wish the government would educate people on the consequences of their wildlife consumption and adopt a humane attitude towards animals. China, its time to wake up and set a good example to the rest of the world!
I couldn’t agree more. It’s horrific! China, wake up!
God is telling them!!! Stop eating and torturing animals!!!
Amen to that.
It’s really time to stop it all !
Oh God. If I thought that with this outbreak of the coronavirus it would end the Chinese wildlife markets (including dogs and cats to my extreme sorrow) then maybe it will finally do some good. But, sadly, I doubt it.
I agree with you. It will continue. The innocent ones will continue to be tortured, kept in despicable ways and killed horrifically.
Our beautiful planet is suffering all over the world humans are destroying the planet It is clear to say that mother nature is paying us all back even the poor suffering animals are paying us back with deadly disease When will we all learn life is more important in love and peace not in wars and greed
If we all tried so hard To Abbe the 10 Commandments there would be peace on Earth amen
There is a protocol for sanitation and proper cleaning 4 fruits and vegetables and also meats.. eating any old thing is not going to do you any good but everything has been tested ..
For many years now I have seen China’s cruel methods of boiling dogs and cat’s alive as they think the pain they endure prior to a very slow death will make the meat tastier. I have seen videos of them stringing animals up and skinning them alive, or using a blow torch to skin them alive and then cook them in the filthiest conditions you can imagine. Many rescue have fought hard to help these animals including buying them off the butchers prior to these gruelling acts were performed. I am elated at the moment as I feel that there may actually be a little hope for these poor animals although at the expense of some innocent people, but the whole World can now see what is happening. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW comes to mind
The Chinese have a long disgraceful track record of animal rights violations! They will eat anything that moves. Time to regulate and BAN the use of live animals in these heinous markets. Time to END the bushmeat and wildlife trade in China! WAKE UP!
I find it so hard to believe that any ‘human’ would find it acceptable to treat animals this way. In my eyes they deserve the same torture they inflict upon these animals. It just makes me sick and not wanting to share the planet with these so called ‘humans’.
It’s horrific! China, wake up!
The latest information from WHO is that the source of novel coronavirus and the extent of spread are yet unknown. It sounds outrageous. It is treating a serious matter with a kid’s glove. China should take seriously the points made in this article and urgently look into its wildlife market.
Please sign the Friend of The Earth Petition on change.org :
These unregulated markets must stop. Not only are they wiping out precious wildlife, but they are also the root of most modern epidemics and outbreaks. They literally threaten all life on the planet.
Disgraceful and disgusting beyond belief for China essentially to feel comfortable within it’s culture to violate wild animals and now the whole world for their depraved lustre for the killing and eating of our planets critically endangered species …what’s wrong with a cheese sandwich!!!!
What happened to the animals in the cages at the wuhan market?were they left to starve to death?
Probably eaten or killed. Although, I doubt they were just killed and all that good meat let go to waste. If they will slaughter them on the spot with no conscious those animals are probably in cages starving to death waiting to be someones next meal. Sad.
Probably 😢 why would they even care
I have lost sleep after seeing pictures of the china wet market. It’s beyond comprehension. These poor animals must endure unfathomable pain and suffering. It must stop NOW!!!!!!
I will not buy anything made in China until this ends
Yes, we must all do the same. The cruelty is horrific.
That’s terrible! We must stop the Chinese wildlife trade!
We humans are being corrected. Corrected by God or the Source or by Natural Law – however one wishes to think about it. We’re all culpable. But some more than others. Consider where these diseases originate. My thoughts and tears are for all of the tortured, murdered nonhuman animals. And I continue to to think about how the rest of the still living animals in the Wuhan market were “dealt with” when the market was shut down. I shed NO tears for any human who dies from Corona virus. God is letting the “powerful ” arrogant human animals see that we are no more valuable or loved than the rest of creation.
The only way to get the Chinese Government to act on this is to hit their hip pocket. Stop buying anything from China – check all labels. And don’t use traditional Chinese medicine.
Any other pressure will fall on deaf ears.
This is sick and disgusting and horrific beyond words.I don’t want to buy anything from China until they stop their cruel and barbaric treatment of animals.There is something wrong with the Chinese people that abuse and torture animals especially cats and dogs. There are no laws to protect animals in China so they are allowed to do this. Shame on the Chinese government, I will never visit that country until they stop their cruelty
I find these times senseless and most commentaries or concerns regarding the coronavirus equally senseless. We are all skirting the point. Xenophobia, racism, fear, money… none of that address the core issue, which to me is the loss of humanity when we disregard how we treat each other and other life forms. Ethnicity did not create this disease and money and fear will not solve it. What caused the problem is our support of countries where people are allowed to torture animals, even consuming them while alive. How eviscerating is that? It is now time to put pressure on China to stop the practice of capturing and torturing wildlife. This should no longer be allowed. When we put our foot down to save lives is how we win as a planet and as a connected people. Let’s stop China’s inhumane treatment of animals. Turning away from the horrors animals face in China makes us all accomplice and will continue to expose us to pandemics like this one. This is a call for love, compassion and respect to one and all. #coronavirus #china #xenophobia #humanity #compassion #respect
Billions of factory farm animals are subjected to inhumane cruelty in the USA and other Western countries. This is infinitely worse than China. Read this story on the World Animal Protection website.
Very well said! We are doing the same in our country to the ” pigs, cows, chickens, etc…” Meat is suffering! We inflict so much pain on other sentient beings, all for our selfish pleasures.
Factory farms are just as disgusting as the markets in China!
That’s the way I see it!!
Time to wake up people!
Tell me something Liz, have you ever seen a stolen pet pig being torched alive in broad daylight in front of children? have you ever seen farm animals being tortured for the taste of their meat? Have you ever seen a dog being peel alive for its fur in North America? Have you ever seen………But I know why you are upset about our own sins towards animals, but at least, we have some laws that protect them. I’m vegan for the animals, for my health and the health of my planet.
Agree and as I commented look at things in our own back yard before you comment on others
Empty words…….no one has the balls to do anything to protect the suffering of these innocent beautiful creatures, we are all to blame for allowing it to continue despicable!!!!!
Absolutely disgusted with the human race. Trophy Hunting and Wet Markets are cruel and despicable. Mother Nature at last having the last say.!!!!!
Humans are EVIL….. there is no other way to word it …….DOWN RIGHT EVIL….COLD & EVIL!!!!!! How can people live with themselves after doing this to these poor animals? How??????????!!!!!!!!!!!?????????!!!!!!!!
I agree with you humans are evil. they are devastating the world , all for power and money. and the people that do care will suffer
I have read that China has banned the wild animal markets at this time but I fear they will continue when the Coronavirus is under control – as happened after SARS. There should be condemnation of these markets from governments globally as the obnoxious Chinese appetite for the use of wild animals either in their diet or medicinal potions has proven to have dire consequences for the rest of the world. The hideous conditions and treatment of animals in China, many endangered is heartbreaking. This has been going on for so long there had to be a’fight back’ Karma comes to mind. Sadly, money speaks louder than anything and should this virus result in wrecked economies around the world, only then I fear, there maybe global pressure on China to ban these markets permanently.
I think that God is fed up with the cruel slaughter of His animals.
Wild life torturing and eating need to STOP immediately. COVID-19 is a wake up call.
2 words: “Impossible” and “Beyond Meat”
Evolve to a plant-based-diet now.
really? come on, common practice in Asian cultures
While in Beijing three years ago, some of the market vendors had live lizards, frogs and snakes impaled on sticks so their movement would attract tourists taking photos. Under such extreme conditions, these poor creatures emit fierce immune responses that are sloughed off and picked up by humans. This complete disregard for the suffering of animals is what has caused these viruses. We need to hold China accountable for not enforcing humane guidelines and allowing this to continue. Apparently the earth has already decided to do something about it.
These wet markets if not shut down will cause a virus that one day will kill 1/4 of the population of the world that’s mother nature getting back at humans for the torture that they Do to these animals
Time to wake up people. Perhaps your uncivilized ancestors believed that eating Bat lips dripping with Salamander saliva and braised puppy brains cured some ailment has long been disproved. Isn’t there enough rice and vegetables to fill you up instead of these sickening practices?
The world should take a tougher stance on China to end their cruel treatment of animals, including things like bear bile farming, using live animals in keychain ornaments, hunting rhino to extinction just for their horns and chopping up live snakes to eat. The covid virus did not make nearly a big enough impression, and now they are demanding concessions from other countries to help with this problem they started. They should be apologizing and offering to help for free. I agree with Patricia Fowler, the moment the crisis is over they will continue exactly as before with no remorse and no regard to the rest of the world.
I have read that these hellish markets continue to remain open not only in China, but other Asian countries as well. What will it take for these people to wake up? The world is losing thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, and yet the Covid virus is actually not very deadly. What about the next one? Does it take the entire human population to die to stop the greed and gluttony of a few thoughtless people?
The Chinese need to be made to reimburse us for our losses, both human and monetary. If they are made to do that, they will shut those markets right down.
I don’t know how anyone in this day and age can be so stupid as to believe that eating any animal part will
1. Cure a disease, like cancer, eating pangolins scales – they also force feed them the wrong food to make them grow bigger for more meat
2. Give a man a bigger erection by eating a tiger’s penis and testicles
3. Eating bear bile and it is extracted while the bear is still alive and trapped in a cage
4. Rhino horns ground up
5. Elephant ivory
6. Boiling cats and dogs alive as it keeps them cool in Summer
7. Skinning animals while they still alive
8. Barbecuing animals while they are still alive
9. Frying fish while they are still alive and serving them to customers who want to see the fish move on their plate
10. Hunting, trapping and caging wild and domestic animals
AND keeping them in horrendous and unbelievably cruel conditions
AND keeping them in cages where they
see all other animals around them cooked, skinned,and eaten while still alive and hear the screams of terror and pain.
The word humane is a joke as it contains the word human and it is the HUMANS who inflict all this suffering.
I don’t give a sh!t if any of the b*stards running and owning these markets get sick and die.
It’s Nature’s Revenge.
What I am so angry about are the thousands of innocent victims around the world who have never broken any laws or inflicted cruelty to animals.
They have all died a lonely and painful death as their families could not be with them due to the deadly contagious virus.
Millions have lost their jobs and may never regain them, and in more poor countries they may starve.
Economies have been frozen
People are trapped abroad, under quarantine abroad and can’t get home or are paying exorbitant fares to get home
Billions are under lockdown
Italy and Spain have been abandoned by more wealthy European member states
Instead of apologising and sending FREE medical equipment and money as reparations, CHINA ARE CHARGING. …. YES. ….. CHARGING for medical equipment and making a profit on all the human misery they caused.
NOW we are also discovering they have lied about the actual number of dead in China.
THE REST OF THE PLANET SHOULD BOYCOTT ALL CHINESE GOODS
AND IMPOSE SANCTIONS
AND CHARGE REPARATIONS.
What actions are we going to take now to make a difference? Who has a plan we can mobIlise behind? The pain this animal abuse causes thinking, caring people is excruciating. We all know that. Let’s share action focused information that actually help those animals. Who can start please?
Stop the practice of wet markets that sell animals that will spread the coronavirus worldwide and cause the death of countless people. This is not only barbaric, but it is also cruel and causes extinction to creatures throughout the world.