An officer searches a vehicle for wildlife violations near a highway toll gate in Yanchi County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Feb. 2, 2020. (Xinhua/Feng Kaihua)
China has suspended all trading of wild animals nationwide to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus: official
BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to crack down on any forms of illegal wildlife trade amid the coronavirus outbreak, an official with the State Administration for Market Regulation said Saturday.
China has suspended all trading of wild animals nationwide to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, said Yang Hongcan at a daily press conference in response to reports that the novel coronavirus may have originated in wild animals.
From Jan. 21 to Feb. 6, the Chinese market regulators paid a total of nearly 1.5 million inspection visits to markets across the country, and over 3,700 markets and operators have been closed for rectification, Yang stressed.
More than 16,000 breeding sites have been cordoned off, controlled and isolated, he said.
Yang noted that those suspected of committing crimes would be handed over to the police for investigation.
"We have worked with the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, General Administration of Customs and National Forestry and Grassland Administration to launch a special campaign to ban illegal wildlife trade," said Yang.
Authorities also planned to strengthen publicity and education for the public not to buy or eat wild animals that are illegally captured and traded, Yang added. ■