Chinese authorities are letting people eat exotic animals again after relaxing their ban on the consumption of turtles and other marine life despite the coronavirus potentially originating in a fish market.
China’s Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs suspended the trading and consumption of all animals falling outside of conventional livestock after COVID-19 was traced back to a seafood market in the city of Wuhan in the country’s Hubei province.
Legislators recently announced they plan to outlaw ‘wildlife’ consumption after the temporary ban but did not reveal a list of animals which they consider exempt.
The Ministry of Agriculture has now exempted the bullfrog and certain breeds of soft-shelled turtles from the ban as they considered them “domesticated aquatic animals” which can be bred according to China’s fishery law.
The ban on wildlife consumption has reportedly caused fear among breeders and legislator Yang Heqing has said that the authorities would provide compensation to breeders put out of business by the ban.
Yang also said that animals which have been bred for an extended period of time and have been popular with consumption by the public would be added to the list of exemptions.
Central University of Finance and Economics professor Yu Aizhi said that some of the species which could be banned were actively promoted by the government in the first place.
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