The Coronavirus Crisis (Part 1): Is it Time to Close Wild Animal Markets?

Coronavirus disease 19 (or COVID-19) is suspected to have originated at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, in the central Chinese province of Hubei, in December 2019. Wet markets such as this – ‘wet’ because of the melting ice used to preserve goods – are where traders sell fresh meat, fish and produce. Some, however, also sell live animals, which can be slaughtered and skinned for the customer upon purchase, to demonstrate their freshness. The Huanan Seaford Wholesale Market, for example, was selling a lot more than just fish – snakes, raccoon dogs, deer, porcupines and pangolins are just a few of the wild species that were also for sale there, both dead and alive.

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